Govt to take over Mapusa Urban Bank

| 01 September 2002 17:23 IST

With the new central co-operative societies act making no provision to appoint state administrator, the Reserve Bank of India as well as the Central Registrar of Co-operative Societies are in dilemma, following dissolution of the board of directors of Bank of Goa.

Headed by former union minister Ramakant Khalap for over three decades, one of the oldest co-operative bank of 1967 has voluntarily dissolved its BoD, requesting the state government to appoint an administrator and recover over 76 per cent of the NPA.

The bank, known popularly as the Mapusa Urban Co-operative Bank but changed its name to the Bank of Goa in 1997 after getting multi-state status, is presently into deep losses due to the NPA factor, in spite of having good amount of deposits.

Khalap thus recently resigned, requesting information technology minister Francis D'Souza to take over as the chairman. The very next BoD meeting then unanimously decided to offer to resign enblock and request the government to appoint the administrator.

"I will not allow the bank to go into loss, by providing total government support in terms of funds and recovery machinery", states chief minister Manohar Parrikar. But he is stuck up as the new act does not provide appointment of the administrator, even if the board resigns.

The RBI officials are thus rushing down to Goa this week, following which the state government officials are also meeting the central registrar in Delhi, to plan out alternative strategy in such kind of situations.

Meanwhile, Parrikar's party president and the BJP legislator Laxmikant Parsekar has held Khalap solely responsible for pathetic state of the bank. He has demanded to prohibit Khalap from entering the bank and seal all the documents, fearing tampering of files.

Though Parrikar claims Khalap cannot tamper with any document, the chief minister has expressed his own doubts regarding recovery of at least 80 per cent of the NPA. He plans to conduct thorough inquiry into it, while warning that nobody will be spared even of criminal liability.

Khalap himself admits that the NPA has been pending for almost 12 years while the mismanagement is suspected to be around Rs 10 to 12 crore. Though the former blames slump in the real estate market for non-recovery, Parsekar holds Khalap responsible for the fraud played on the depositors.

To bring out the bank from bankruptcy in three years, Parrikar is planning to deregister Goa's most prestigious co-operative bank from the multi-state status, provide funds and move into action even by attaching properties of all the defrauders.

But the main problem right now is to find a solution to bring it under state control, as the new act is totally silent on it while neither the RBI nor the central authorities have any clear guidelines in this regard.

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