The Chhattisgarh Cabinet chaired by Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel on Tuesday decided against merging District Cooperative Central Banks with the Apex Bank, thereby reversing the stand taken by the Raman Singh govt of BJP in the past.
Talking about the Cabinet decision Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ravindra Choubey said the issue of merger is the thing of the past now as the Cooperative Department has been given directives in this regard.
It bears recall that the state BJP govt was almost on the verge of merging all district cooperative central banks (DCCBs) of the state into a single State Cooperative Bank called Apex bank in Chhattisgarh.
Ashok Bajaj, the former Chairman of Apex Bank resigned earlier following the govt’s order of vacating all positions by BJP nominees.
The Raman Singh govt had also sought RBI’s greenlight for the merger which handed a list of 18 preconditions to be fulfilled by the state before the formal merger was effected.
There are more than 250 branches of six district cooperative central banks spread over the six district of the state. In a signed mail Ajay Bhagat who is Chairman of the Apex Bank Officers’ Union has welcomed the move and said that the Cabinet decision has boosted the morale of employees.
Talking to Indian Cooperative Bhagat said the merger would have led to a shortfall of more than Rs 1000 crore in the balance sheet of the Apex Bank. Besides, several nagging issues of employees would have cropped up had the merger taken place, he underlined.
When everybody becomes the staff-member of Apex Bank, they would demand parity in pay and perks. Similarly, the issue of seniority would have bogged the management for long, Bhagat described the situation in case of merger.
Readers would know that the BJP govt of Jharkhand has already amalgamated DCCBs of the state while Kerala is in the process of doing so.
Besides the issue of strengthening the cooperative sector, Chhattisgarh’s Cabinet also decided to withdraw cases against agents of chit fund companies, said to be mostly local youths. They had to face the wrath of police after directors of these fraud companies fled.
It is estimated that nearly 2.75 lakh investors had deposited around over Rs 1,105 crore in the chit fund companies. A total of 199 FIRs were registered against these companies in the state. The Congress party had claimed that over 161chit fund companies in the state had duped investors to the tune of over Rs 5,000 crore in the last nine years of the BJP rule.