The major concern for the working of UCBs or for that matter any other co-op organization is the issue of silence of the majority. It has usually been seen that a strong chairman controls the Board and makes it function the way he or she likes.
PMC Bank which has single handed tarnished the image of co-op organizations in the country would take years to redeem their reputation. This malaise is being noticed in many co-op bodies, say experts.
Even while, Board members knew that Waryam Singh is taking a well-established bank to the path of destruction, they kept mum. Worse, they connived with him by not raising objections. (MD in his confessional letter, however says that the Board members did not know the sickening plot and only 6 persons including the Chairman and MD were privy to the rot). A copy of MD’s confession spread in 6 pages is with Indian Cooperative and it would be published soon.
Coming to Chairman’s hanky-panky, it is obvious that he was into it for many years and it cannot be so that the Board members were not aware especially when last year RBI asked the bank to change the Chairman.
A PTI release reveals that RBI had reportedly recommended removal of Chairman, Waryam Singh, in 2018. But PMC Bank sat on it.
Now reports coming in from various sources reveal that the exposure of the PMC Bank to HDIL is about 70% of its total asset- a proposition which is sure to lead to the liquidation of the bank in course of time. Earlier, it looked like a minor aberration but later it became obvious that the rot has set in too deep to clean up.
Despite RBI’s protest Waryam Singh continued to be the Chairman of the PMC and went on destroying the bank unabated. The latest tranche of Rs 96.5 crore was disbursed only on August 31, PTI release reveals.
“Of the Rs 8,880-crore loan book (as of September 19, 2019) that PMC had, more than Rs 6,500 crore or over 73 per cent of the assets are with the bankrupt HDIL group only, which has been an NPA account since the past two-three years and yet the bank kept on lending to the once leading slum redeveloper”, says the report.
It is not so that this tendency to side with Chairman has been noticed only in PMC Bank. Most of the co-ops are one-man show and it is a sad commentary on the movement. When even the Board members, who are equal to the Chairman cannot find their voice what about an ordinary member, ask experts.
Is it because of unusual concentration of power in one hand? Or does a powerful chairman or MD oblige the Board members through blandishments of various kinds to silence them? These are questions we must ponder if we aim at a healthy cooperative movement in the country.