The opposition MLAs on Friday grilled the state government over the affairs of the Goa state cooperative bank (GSCB) and accused it of interfering in the bank’s functioning with an objective of saffronizing it. In his starred question, Fatorda independent MLA Vijai Sardesai sought to know details about “elections” of the Goa state co-operative bank. Sardesai also wanted other details including whether the government had directed the board of directors and the chairman to resign from their posts. Sardesai accused the government of seeking to remove the chairman in order to put in its own stooge in a bid to saffronize the bank. Sardessai said the chief minister’s “irresponsible utterances” against the bank had provoked investors to withdraw their money causing huge losses to the bank.
Opposition MLAs also wanted to know why the government was not paying off the long-pending 46-crore loan advanced by the bank to the government-run Kadamba transport corporation. Opposition MLAs pointed out that the government was surety to that loan and that the KTC loan was one of the main reasons for the bank running into huge losses. The cooperation minister Pandurang ‘Deepak’ Dhavalikar refuted the claim that the KTC loan was the main reason for the bank’s losses and said that Nabard had pointed out several reasons why the bank was on the downslide.
Among other things, Nabard had pointed out that the bank’s risk adequacy ratio was minus two and that it should be raised to at least four. Dhavalikar said Nabard had asked the bank to chalk out an action plan for its recovery, to improve its method of operation and to improve the NPA. Dhavalikar also revealed that the government had paid 15 crore of the 36-crore given to the KTC.