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State to conduct census of co-operatives to check money laundering

State to conduct census of co-operatives to check money laundering

Kolkata: The state Co-Operation department will conduct co-operative census of the different types of co operatives including co-operative banks with an objective to streamline its functioning and prevent money laundering associated with the co-operatives acorss the state.

"There are a total of 30,000 co-operatives in the state and corruption had been at its peak particularly during the Left Front regime in the state. A number of co-operative banks had closed down due to siphoning of money. We have taken steps to revive a number of co operative societies and banks across the state. The census will enable us to conduct audit of all the cooperatives and prevent corruption," said Co- Operation Minister Arup Roy in response to a query on corruption at co-operative banks raised by TMC MLA Abdul Khalek Mollah.

According to the minister , Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has instructed him to revive the co-operative sector with the rural economy being entirely dependent on the district central co-operative banks.

The department has already constituted prevention of fraud cell led by a legal adviser to prevent frauds at co-operative banks.

A district co operative bank at Birbhum was recently on the verge of closure due to money laundering and the department chipped in with Rs 112 crore for its revival. There have been a number of cases where the department has allocated funds for similar cases.

It may be mentioned that the co-operative banks in the state have been performing well with the state credit deposit (CD) ratio of cooperative banks in the state standing at 81.16 percent against the national CD ratio of 70 percent .

"Our Chief Minister wants strengthening of co operative banks in such a manner so that loans for government schemes like Kanyashree, Yuvasree etc can be disbursed thorough the co operative banks," an official in the department said.

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