Kangra Cent Co-op Bank: Skeletons tumble

Chairman of Himachal Pradesh based Kangra Central Cooperative Bank (KCCB) Jagdish Sapehia pooh-poohed the charges of undeclared NPAs in the bank’s balance-sheet calling it the opposition game-plan considering impending elections.

“We are performing well and the bank is on the growth path but some elements are trying to tarnish the image of the bank” said Sapehia to Indian Cooperative correspondent on the phone.

Earlier, The Tribune broke the news that the authorities of Kangra Central Cooperative Bank (KCCB) have played down the issue of the non-performing assets (NPAs) in the last financial year.

The matter assumes significance also because the RBI rules were flouted in the recruitment of staff despite opposition crying foul. Keshav Korla, one of the directors of the bank who has been alleging wrong-doings by the bank’s management says as per the RBI guidelines, no fresh recruitment can be carried out if the NPAs are above 10 per cent. As per the latest figures, the NPAs of the bank seem to have gone beyond 17 to 18 per cent, he added.

Sapehia retorts on phone from Kangra “As the election is nearing the opposition is trying to indulge in mud-slinging; I have been the chairman of the bank for a long time and have seen many ups and downs, there is nothing serious”, said the Chairman brushing the serious charges aside.

Interestingly, Chairman is a Congress nominee while his critic Korla is from BJP. Many local cooperators see it as a fight between the two political parties to control the affairs of the bank. They believe, however the story of mounting NPA.

In the letter written to branch offices by MD it has been said that the system-generated report uncovers 3,633 accounts of Rs 169.36 crore that have not been marked as NPAs. Indian Cooperative has the copy of the letter written by MD.

The current Chairman however is not tired of self praise. “During my tenure we have installed more than 80 ATMs and opened 33 branches and having working capital of twenty thousand crores. Our profit increased by 63 crore when there was only 18 crore”, said Sapehia.

On recruitment Sapehia said“there was no monkey business in the recruitment process, the allegations made by him are false and baseless”. Digging into the past of Keshav Korla, Sapehia said “he was earlier suspended by Registrar of Cooperative Society; he also had his four to five candidates recruited and the comment coming from him now is rich that the recruitment was unfair ”, said Sapehia.

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