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New Delhi: The country’s largest bank has taken a tough stance against its largest retail chain, saying the bank should not offer its customers free washing machines, washing-machine freezers, and washing-paper freezers for a long time.
The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) has asked all banks in the country to offer free washing machine, washing machine freezers and free washing-papers for at least 10 years.
The move comes at a time when the country is facing a crisis of liquidity and the banks are struggling to manage the impact of demonetisation.
According to the CBDT, the banks had given free dispensing of washing machines and free dispensers to their customers during the monsoon period.
However, they have not been able to continue the free dispensation after the demonetization.
“It was a big surprise to us when the banks decided to offer the freebies in their promotional material, but the offer was not followed by the customers,” a senior CBDT official said.
“They should not have been given such a discount,” the official added.
Banks and other corporates have been accused of taking advantage of the demonoidation to boost their earnings.
The RBI had asked banks to offer dispensing machines free of cost to their users from December 15.
The bank, however, had not done so till the month of April.
The banks have also been given free vending machines.
The government had also made it mandatory for banks to pay GST on dispensing and vending machines from December 1.
The government had announced free dispensations from December 30, 2017, but had not followed the order.
“We are waiting for the bank to give us a deadline on which we can start paying GST on the dispensing equipment,” the CBTD official said, adding that it was a “painful process”.