Mamata announces committee to discipline coop banks, societies

“Loan requests should be carefully scrutinised. Often, loans granted because of local political influence result in bad debt and make the banks and societies insolvent,” said Mamata Banerjee.

kolkata Updated: Jan 25, 2018 18:47 IST
Sumanta Ray Chaudhuri
Sumanta Ray Chaudhuri
Hindustan Times
Cooperative Banks,West Bengal,Mamata Banerjee
Chief minister Mamata Banerjee on Thursday asked state cooperative banks and societies to increase their annual cumulative deposits three times. (HT File Photo)

Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee on Thursday announced the formation of a high- powered committee to enforce discipline, remove irregularities and ensure transparency in the functioning of cooperative banks and societies operating in the state.

While addressing a convention organised for cooperative banks and cooperative societies in Kolkata, she admitted that the sector as well its controlling authority, the state cooperation department, have been neglected for quite some time and discipline needs to be enforced.

The high-powered committee will be headed by state chief secretary Malay Kumar De.“The committee will submit its report within six months. Based on its suggestions, efforts will be made to streamline the functioning of this sector,” Banerjee announced.

She also cautioned officers about mismanagement and financial irregularities that lead to insolvency or the Reserve Bank of India cancelling the license of an institution.“Audits should be held regularly. At the same time loan requests should be carefully scrutinised. Loans granted because of local political influence result in bad debt and subsequently, insolvency. These institutions often request the government for a bailout. This cannot continue. Cooperative banks and societies have to operate professionally,” she said.

Setting a high target for the officials, Banerjee asked the banks and societies to mobilise Rs 1,00,000 crore in deposits within one year.

State cooperation minister Arup Roy was present at the convention. He later said the present accumulated deposits in this sector in Bengal stands at around Rs 30,000 crore.“Since the chief minister has set a new target we have to achieve it anyhow,” said Roy.

The banks should open more branches with special focus on gram panchayats or areas where banking is still not popular, said Banerjee.“There are several gram panchayat areas where people don’t have bank accounts,” she said. The chief minister also stressed on digitisation of operations and training of staff members.

First Published: Jan 25, 2018 18:47 IST