The Central Chronical reports that the West Bengal Government has decided to give cooperative societies in villages having no Banks all the facilities of Banks. Through this move, 2,600 societies would be turned into Banks.
Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has already issued instruction in this regard. The State Cooperation Department has allotted Rs 396 crore for this purpose.
The cooperative society-turned-banks would have all the facilities of regular banks, including those related to loans and money transfer. For example, money can be transferred through NEFT and RTGS. The Banks would have their own ATMs too.
These Banks would start operating from the next financial year. According to the Cooperation Minister, who furnished all these details while announcing the formation of the Banks, the 2,600 cooperative societies have been selected on the basis of better track records from among the approximately 6,000 cooperative societies in Bengal.
It is not clear, though as to how Mamata would go about it as one needs a license from the regulator RBI for doing banking business. Given RBI’s strict norms it is not so easy to convert co-ops into banks, opine experts.