As soon as the pending cases against the formation of Kerala Bank were dismissed by the High Court, the state govt announced its formation by March 31, 2020 on Friday. Earlier, a week ago the government had decided to appoint P.S. Rajan, general manager, Union Bank of India as CEO, Kerala Bank.
Meanwhile, an Interim Council has been formed to oversee the final shape of the bank, even as the administrators of state co-op bank and DCCBS have been asked to pack up.
There are about 14 District Cooperative Banks in the state with a network of about 300 branches. Over 64 lakh customers are associated with them. There are about 6 thousand people working in these banks.
The state government had earlier a couple of years ago, dissolved the boards of these District Cooperative Banks and appointed administrators to oversee their activities.
While the RSS leaning co-op body Sahakar Bharati had been opposing the idea of merger of district co-op banks into one in Kerala, the Regional Director of ICA Balu Aiyer has supported the concept and said it would do good to the sector.
Balu who had gone to attend a high profile Coop Congress organized by the state govt a couple of years ago had praised the idea of amalgamation. Later, he followed it by writing a letter to the Cooperation Minister and welcomed the state government’s plan to form the Kerala Bank by merging the state cooperative bank and district cooperative banks.
Sahakar Bharati leader Satish Marathe had been one of the vociferous opponents of the idea of merger as he said “the merger of District Cooperative Banks will prove disastrous to the farmers. Instead of going for the merger, the state government should strengthen these Cooperative Banks”, he said.
There are many cooperators who believe the move by the CPM led LDF aims to destroy the rural credit delivery system in Kerala.
Meanwhile, the state govt has appointed Cooperation Secretary, Finance Secretary and the Managing Director of Kerala State Cooperative Bank as the members of Interim Council to oversee the formalities of the formation of the Bank by the next March.