The Mamata Banerjee government has given a new lease of life to the Bally Co-operative Bank in Howrah by providing a revival package of Rs 12.85 crore.
The co-operative bank, that had closed in 2006 after discrepancies by CPI(M)-led board came to light, reopened on Sunday. The state co-operation minister Arup Roy, Irrigation minister Rajib Banerjee and local MLA Vaishali Dalmiya were present in the programme organised for reopening of the bank. Roy said: “The bank has reopened today (Sunday) crossing many hurdles. It had closed in 2006 due to discrepancies by the previous board. The state government has provided a revival package of Rs 12.85 crore to ensure that the bank reopens.” Comparing the Central government reign to the reign of Muhammad bin Tughluq, Banerjee said: “Demonetisation has left a heavy impact on the country’s economy.”
In connection with the reopening of the bank, he said that it was a great effort to reopen the bank that would be of great help to the common people of the area.
Stating it as a great achievement, Dalmiya said: “This shows that Bally is once again flourishing and the hospital would be of great help to the people of the area. A few days ago, a retail shop had also reopened.”
In 2006, The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) had imposed embargo on normal functioning of the 91-year-old bank as the Non Performing Assets (NPA) had touched around 98 per cent. Both the Cash Reserve and Asset Ratio (CRAR) and the Cash Reserve Ratio (CRR) were negative. Complaint was lodged against 188 people who were directly or indirectly involved with the functioning of the bank, as loan was allegedly sanctioned to close ones of the board members without checking their credentials. At the same time, the loan was not recovered, said Bhaskar Gopal Chatterjee, professional director of the bank.
The 27,000 customers of the bank had initiated seeing a ray of hope after the board was changed on April 13, 2013. Members of the new board took initiatives and initiated the task of recovering the loan. They recovered Rs 2 crore of the total Rs 6 crore that the previous board had failed to recover and also received the revival package of the state government. The bank returned Rs 4 crore to a section of its account holders following guidelines of the RBI and deposited Rs 19 crore as fixed deposit to different bankers. As a result, the CRR has become positive and the RBI had finally given its clearance to reopen the bank.
“The bank has been officially reopened today (Sunday), but it would take another four months to make it completely functional and to provide service to the account holders of the bank. First of all, the computer system needs to be updated. Task of which has already been started. At the same time, the core banking system will also be introduced and accounts which turned dormant will be made active. It will take around three to four months to complete the entire process,” said Chatterjee.