Bathinda: Note ban leaves Central Co-op Bank, account holders in lurch | punjab$bhatinda | Hindustan Times
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Bathinda: Note ban leaves Central Co-op Bank, account holders in lurch

With the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) banning the district central cooperative banks (DCCBs) from exchanging and accepting the demonetised Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 banknotes, the Bathinda Central Cooperative Bank Limited is also feeling the heat.

punjab Updated: Nov 19, 2016 17:14 IST
Sachin Sharma
narendra modi
Bathinda Central Cooperative Bank employees protesting in Bathinda on Friday.(Sanjeev Kumar/HT)

With the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) banning the district central cooperative banks (DCCBs) from exchanging and accepting the demonetised Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 banknotes, the Bathinda Central Cooperative Bank Limited is also feeling the heat.

In the peak season, when farmers have to pay back the short-term agricultural loan (STAL) taken for the paddy crop after the sale of the crop, the ban on accepting the currency has left the bank management worried.

The bank employees, under the banner of the Cooperative Bank Employees’ Federation Of Punjab, staged a protest inside the bank on Friday and submitted a memorandum to Prime Minister Narendra Modi through the deputy commissioner to reconsider the decision in the interest of these banks.

“We had disbursed Rs 360 crore as short-term agricultural loan to farmers for paddy crop and the process for recovering the same was going on these days as farmers have sold the crop. But the ban on the banks to accept scrapped banknotes has stalled the whole recovery process,” said Jasvir Singh Brar, chairman of the bank. As per bank officials, only Rs 114 crore out of the Rs 360 crore has been recovered.

The farmers are making rounds of agriculture cooperative societies in villages. through which this loan has been sanctioned, to pay back the loan, but are being denied by the officials as the scrapped notes are not being accepted.

Sukhpal Singh, secretary of Laleanna agriculture cooperative society, said, “Farmers are coming to pay back the loan and take the advance for wheat crop, but since we can’t accept the demonetised currency, the process has stopped. It has created a chaotic situation for farmers. The situation will result in increase in the number of defaulters,” he said.

“The situation is impacting the whole process. Only Rs 45 crore has been disbursed as STAL for the wheat crop in the district till now,” said a bank official, indicating that the sowing of wheat is being hit badly. The bank maintains equilibrium in sanctioning and recovering the short term loan and same is expected to be over Rs 300 crore for wheat crop.

“Over 60% of the farmers who have accounts with us have only one bank account and they are at the receiving end. The whole process is being choked,” said Geetika Mani, district manager of the bank. The Bathinda Central Cooperative bank has 39 branches.

There are 20 DCCBs in Punjab with over 800 branches. As per the federation, an amount worth Rs 13,500 crore has been disbursed by these banks as STAL and the recovery of the same will be affected badly by the decision.

Meanwhile, the limitation on withdrawing the money from their accounts is continuing to affect the people. The marriage of one Kirandeep Kaur, daughter of Mahinder Kaur, 60, is scheduled for November 22, but her mother is quite worried. “I need cash for my daughter’s marriage, but I am not getting the sufficient amount due to the restriction, despite having adequate amount in my account,” she rued.