Pune: NCP chief Sharad Pawar on Tuesday (September 7th) criticized the Reserve Bank’s policy towards cooperative banks, saying an attempt is being made to “weaken” the cooperative movement by ceding the reins of the sector to a specific group of people.
Maharashtra has a strong network of cooperative organizations, which also provide a base of support for the NCP and Congress who share power with Shiv Sena in the government of Maha Vikas Aghadi.
“It seems that the policy of the RBI is to gradually reduce the number of cooperative banks, which help the common man in difficult times and to close them, by merging them with other banks. All of this is not only detrimental to the cooperative movement, but is also dangerous for the common man, ”Pawar told reporters.
The veteran politician said the first bank’s “outlook” towards cooperative banks was “not at all appropriate”. The Nationalist Congress Party has opposed the RBI’s supervision of cooperative banks since changes were made to the Banking Regulation Act approved by Parliament in September 2020.
According to the amended law, the RBI can replace the board of directors of cooperative banks after consultation with the relevant state government. Pawar said it is the right of members of a cooperative institution to decide who to give the reins of the bank, who should be appointed director and if that director’s performance is not up to par, to remove him. .
“But now the RBI says they will name the person whether or not they are a member of the institution … So there is an attempt to slowly weaken the cooperative movement by relinquishing the reins of the cooperative sector in the hands of a specific group of people, ”he added.
The Modi government recently created the Ministry of Cooperation, headed by the Union Minister of Interior, Amit Shah. Pawar had previously said that cooperative societies fall under the state government and the central government cannot intervene.
Speaking on the 97th Amendment, which dealt with issues related to the effective management of cooperative societies, Pawar said on Tuesday that he was the one who tabled the amendment when he was minister. “I had tabled the amendment following extensive deliberation and meetings with ministers of state cooperatives and heads of cooperative institutions.
The important part of the 97th Amendment was that it limited the unnecessary interference of state governments in these institutions, ”said the former Union Minister of Agriculture.
He said that a formula was agreed upon in the 97th Amendment on the extent to which a state government can intervene in the cooperative institution.
“In short, cooperative banks have received some kind of protection. Unfortunately, talks are underway to make changes to this. Although it has not yet been done, we are trying to approach the people who are at the helm and present the facts to those banks away from the crisis, ”he said.
(With contributions from the agency)