Maharashtra Agri Minister alleges mismanagement of fund in DCCBs

Mumbai, Dec 2: Sadabhau Khot, the state minister for agriculture and marketing, Maharashtra has backed Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI) move to restrict district central cooperative banks (dccb) from exchanging the old currency alleging fund mismanagement.

He alleged that the DCCBs has lost its credibility with incidents of swindling huge amounts.

“There has been many allegations of corruption against district central co-operative banks in last one decade. Investigation is progressing,” said minister.

“DCCBs being the hub of black money, hoarders can easily convert it to white if not restricted. Hence the restriction over DCCBs is valid,” Khot told reporters in Pune on Thursday.

The RBI had last month issued a circular restricting the DCCBs from exchanging or depositing old currency notes of Rs500 and Rs1,000 which were declared as illegal tender under the government’s demonetisation move on 8 November.

The minister also pointed out that there are some DCCBs which functions well under an administrative officer rather than its elected board of directors but there are some which are debt-ridden due to mismanagement of funds. “Many of such banks are now defunct. Their past performance is self-explanatory to be put under restrictions,” he added.

On the Rs 24,000 cash withdrawal limit over the bank counters, Khot said there are very few farmers who need so much amount in cash. Farmers’ cash requirement is not so high, hence they would not complain over such issues, he said.

The marketing department of the state government has already issued instructions to the agriculture produce market committees (APMCs) to issue cheques to farmers for purchase of the produce.

“The seeds required for Rabi season are already disbursed in the market and all the distributors are asked to make the transactions through cheques. The farmers who have received amount in cash from selling their produce, are depositing it in their accounts with public sector banks. It means the things are moving at grassroots,” Khot said.

On financial allocation of Rs21,000 crore by NABARD for farmers, the minister said, “The credit requirement for Rabi season is mostly going to be met through the allocation from NABARD. There will be some efforts from the state as well if more credit supply is required.”

“The Central government has given Rs75 crore for onion storage centres, but the state has sought additional credit supply of Rs50 crore because Maharashtra is the largest onion producer in the country,” Khot said during a meet organised by Pune Union of Working Journalists.