In a bid to defend the curiosity of depositors, the Lok Sabha on Wednesday passed an modification to the Banking Regulation Act to bring cooperative banks under the supervision of the RBI. The Banking Regulation (Amendment) Bill, 2020 replaces an ordinance that was promulgated on June 26.
The invoice, which comes in the backdrop of the PMC Bank rip-off, seeks to strengthen cooperative banks by rising their professionalism, enabling entry to capital, enhancing governance and guaranteeing sound banking by the RBI.
Replying to the controversy on the invoice in the Lok Sabha, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman stated this laws is for depositors’ security and never for undermining powers of the Registrar of Cooperative Societies.
Powers of the Registrar of Cooperative Societies haven’t been encroached upon however banking exercise of cooperatives can be regulated by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), she stated.
“I want to make it very clear that this bill does not provide for regulation of cooperative banks by the central government.. We are not doing anything new, we are working in the interest of depositors,” she added.
The modification shouldn’t be for the central financial institution to take over management of cooperative banks, she stated.
Clarifying on the necessity for the ordinance, the finance minister stated, “Absolutely there was a need for it. One was not sure when will be the next session of Parliament because of COVID-19 pandemic, and in the meanwhile, the protection of depositors is of critical importance.”
Moreover, there was rise in non-performing belongings (NPAs) of the cooperative banks, Sitharaman stated.
As per the annual monetary knowledge made accessible earlier than June, there was a rise in gross NPA ratio of city cooperative banks to 10 per cent in 2019-20 as in opposition to 7 per cent in 2018-19, she added.
The finance minister emphasised that the federal government has not forgotten the success of the cooperative motion, however added if cooperatives are offering banking companies, then a number of committees have really useful that there’s a want to regulate them.
“It’s not as if we have forgotten the success of the cooperative movement. We are not undermining, but we must face the truth that in the last two decades, 430 cooperative banks have been delicensed and they have gone into liquidation,” she stated.
“In contrast, not a single commercial bank in the same period whose depositors are protected by the banking laws have gone into liquidation…so it should not be construed as we are stepping into the terrains of the states,” she added.
Opposition events had protested in opposition to the invoice, saying it infringed upon the states’ rights.
“We don’t undermine anybody, but if depositors are suffering we have to stand with them…We are bringing this law to safeguard interest of depositors,” Sitharaman added.
The proposed legislation seeks to implement banking regulation tips of the RBI in cooperative banks, whereas administrative points will nonetheless be guided by the Registrar of Cooperatives.
It is geared toward bringing cooperative banks on par with developments in the banking sector by higher administration and correct regulation which protects the curiosity of depositors.
The invoice assumes significance in the wake of a rip-off in the Punjab and Maharashtra Cooperative (PMC) Bank affecting lakhs of consumers who’ve been going through problem in withdrawing their cash due to restrictions imposed by the RBI.
The PMC Bank was discovered to have given over Rs 6,700 crore mortgage to a single realty firm HDIL by allegedly fraudulent means and likewise hid the publicity from the RBI by creating separate books of accounts.
There are about 1,540 cooperative banks with depositor base of 8.60 crore having complete financial savings of round Rs 5 lakh crore.