December 9, 2016 4:40:07 am
Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Thursday led an all-party delegation to meet Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitely in New Delhi to discuss the problems being faced by the District Central Cooperative Banks (DCCBs). “We requested Jaitley to consider relaxing the restrictions imposed on the DCCBs. The decision is causing hardships to farmers and impacting the rural economy,” said Fadnavis after the meeting. The chief minister apprised Jaitley about the vast network of the DCCBs and how the agriculture sector and farmers were dependent on it to carry out monetary transactions.
The RBI has put a ban on the DCCBs against allowing deposits of the old Rs 1,000 and Rs 500 notes. The RBI fears the DCCBs will be used as a safe haven by individuals and companies to park their unaccounted funds in the wake of the demonetisation. Fadnavis said Jaitley responded positively and assured to look into the issue.
Sources said Jaitely held discussions with NABARD officials and was likely to take up the matter with the RBI on Friday. Maharashtra has 35 DCCBs with 5,000 branches across the state. Almost 80 per cent of the rural population — including 75 lakh farmers — operate through the DCCBs. Maharashtra is among three states besides Karnataka and Uttar Pradesh that has a huge network of DCCBs.
“We argued that since all the DCCBs had complied with the RBI guidelines, there should not be a problem in relaxing the norms. Moreover, if there was any mismanagement of funds, the RBI could verify individual accounts and take action against those violating the rules,” said Fadnavis. Stressing the need for enhancing the currency flow in the DCCBs, the all-party team argued the RBI should take control of the Rs 5,000 crore deposited in these banks within three days after the demonetisation decision was announced on November 8.
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The delegation that met Jaitley included Leader of Opposition in the Assembly Radhakrishna Vikhe-Patil, Opposition Leader in the Council Dhananjay Munde, state Finance Minister Sudhir Mungantiwar, Cooperative Minister Subash Deshmukh and NCP MP Supriya Sule. Earlier, Fadnavis had written to Jaitley. He had also apprised Prime Minister Narendra Modi of the matter.
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