Thursday, April 22, 2021

Demand for dissolution of minority JSCBL managing committee, govt probe into financial bungling

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Mail News Service

Ranchi, March 24: A general body meeting was organized on Wednesday at a hotel in Ranchi where the delicate situation of the Jharkhand State Cooperative Bank Ltd (JSCBL) was discussed in detail and a demand for action against the chairman of the bank’s board of directors, members of the board and the CEO was sought from the government or official authorized by the state government.

It may be mentioned that there have been several reports of JSCBL chairman, managing committee members and CEO had engineered large scale financial irregularities involving crores of rupees in the forms of fictitious loans and advances in fictitious or in names of relatives thereby siphoning off major chunks of deposits by farmers, cooperative societies and individuals. According to those reports, financial bungling reflect loans written off to the tune of Rs 30 crore, non-agriculture loans amounting to Rs 38 crore and data centre scam adding up to Rs 3.76 crore.

Apart from the present managing committee being in the minority, the processes executed by it without beingh confirmed by any adequate authority and the CEO’s appointment remaining unconfirmed, the meeting held on Wednesday in Ranchi accused the chairman and the minority managing board members and the CEO of robbing JSCBL funds at will without any qualms and in an unrestrained manner.

The meeting was presided by by East Singhbhum district coop[erative organization representative Vijay Kumar Singh and was attended by, among others, representatives of 20 cooperative organizations and four former directors of the JSCBL who had resigned in protest against the corrupt financial practices. It was resolved in the meeting that a delegation would meet the Jharkhand government’s Registrar of Cooperatives with a list of demands including calling of a general body meeting to dissolve the board of directors of the bank, investigate the financial bungling committed by the chairman, members of the board of directors and the CEO, take action against them and lodging FIR against all accused in the irregularities as stated.

Presiding the meeting, Vijay Kumar Singh placed 25 such instances where the bank’s current chairman, the minority board’s members and CEO had eaten into the bank’s capital and its funds leaving the JSCBL in a delicate financial situation.

Supporting Singh’s pointers, two ladies who had tendered their resignations from what they termed “the board of corruption,” former directors Sunaina Pathak and Kaushilya Kujur stated that in its two and half year tenure did not consider aiding any agriculture cooperative society and accused that when the board had become a minority, the chairman and directors of the board were making a last ditch effort to make amends with the pretence of looking into the long pending requirements of the cooperative societies.

Speakers expressed surprise that in order to confirm the minutes of the last three board meetings, a fourth meeting had been called and it had to be cancelled due to a lack of quorum. The bank’s audit report had then indicated clearly that the JSCBL’s financial health was in the doldrums and the reason attributed was gross violation of banking norms in transaction of financial transactions. It was opined that the names of stake holders of the district banks that had been merged with JSCBL were not enlisted in the documents which showed ulterior motives of the chairman and the board of directors.

Representatives of cooperatives, former directors of the managing committee of JSCBL and others said that the very move to introduce a Helicopter Account (Ijaad Rikaas) where funds could be put in unchecked to reduce NPA (Non Performing Assets) was a dangerous step resorted by the chairman and the members of the (minority) board of directors. Such account is used to write off loan accounts by transferring them to the ‘Helicopter Account.’ They accused that such a move was made to meet the ungainly interests of the chairman and members of the minority board of directors to hide their scams. According to them an amount of Rs 200 crore had been transferred to the said account in which the first installment of Rs 30 crore had been accounted for as write off.

Cooperative organization member Yamuna Singh said, “In the two and half years the board has swindled the bank and its stake holders. JSCBL does not have a single branch in Palamau and Latehar as a result of which not only have the farmers been deprived of agriculture loans but have also been denied the benefits of crop insurance. Are Palamau and Latehar not parts of Jharkhand? The board is in minority and should be dissolved without further delay.”

The participants expressed their grievance that not a single general body meeting had been called in the current board’s two and half year tenure. They unanimously agreed that since the current board had lost its majority and the authority had shifted to the registrar of Societies of the state government. they claimed that the present board had failed to prove its control with the successive abandonment of four meetings. They demanded that the state government authorized an appropriate agency to conduct investigations to find thre truth of the allegations. They contended that in the past it had come to light that boards of directors that had been relegated to minority status had engaged such officials so that the scamsters could find a way out of the financial bungling they had made and so the demand was for an accredited agency to conduct the enquiry into the allegations against the chairman, members of the board of directors and the CEO.

At the conclusion of the special general body meeting qa committee was formed to pursue the matter of the dissolution of the minority board of directors of JSCBL. Others present in the meeting were Kaushlendra Singh, Ram Narayan Sah, Sudhir Kumar, Chunka Ram Mardi, Yamuna Singh and Bhagi Singh.

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