RBI's decisions raising concerns about future of cooperative movement: Sharad Pawar

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Sharad Pawar | File photo

Mumbai: NCP chief Sharad Pawar on Monday said the RBI's recent decisions regarding cooperative institutions like district banks are raising concerns about the future of the cooperative movement.

Addressing an event at Rabale in neighbouring Navi Mumbai, the former Union agriculture minister said that “unfortunately” the viewpoint of the country's apex bank towards cooperative institutions “is a bit strange”.

Pawar made the remarks after inaugurating the administrative office of a credit cooperative society.

The NCP patriarch did not specify the exact decisions of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) during his speech.

The Nationalist Congress Party, which mainly draws its political power from the cooperative sector in western Maharashtra, has been opposing the supervision of cooperative banks by the RBI since the changes were made to The Banking Regulation Act approved by Parliament in September 2020.

As per the amended law, the RBI can supersede the board of directors of cooperative banks after consultations with the concerned state government.

“Unfortunately, the viewpoint of the country's largest bank, the RBI, towards cooperative institutions is a bit 'chamtkarik' (strange). Hence, it seems one does not get justice there (at the level of the RBI).

“The decisions the RBI took in the recent past about credit cooperative societies, district banks, cause concerns about the future of the cooperative movement,” he added.

Pawar said he has been raising this issue before the Centre and in Parliament.

“But still there is no improvement in the situation,” the former Union minister added.

The NCP chief asked the attendees at the programme from the cooperative sector to prepare a note of the issues they are facing so that the same could be raised before Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah, who also heads the Cooperative ministry.

“The cooperative movement is strong in Maharashtra and Gujarat. And the cooperative ministry and the prime minister's post both are in the hands of Gujarat. I will take you to them. Raise your issues before them. We will try to solve your problems,” he said. PTI

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