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BJP plans to break Oppn Cong-NCP grip on co-operative sector

Thursday, September 13, 2018
By A Special Correspondent

Issues notices on defaulting mills to recover soft loans

In a bid to break the hold of the opposition Congress and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) over the cooperative movement in the state, the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led government has begun issuing notices to defaulting cooperative sugar and spinning mills for recovery of soft loans taken from the state government.

In an another move aimed at making inroads into the cooperative sector, the government has also lifted the ban in registering village level primary cooperative development societies and registering 50 lakh new members in these primary cooperative development societies in the state, which will enable the BJP to gain control of these societies.

Minister for Finance and Planning Sudhir Mungantiwar had instructed the Ministry of Cooperation and Marketing to issue a White Paper on the cooperative sector in the state. Reacting to the issue of cooperatives defaulting on loans, he said that cooperative sugar and spinning mills had taken soft loans from the government and have not repaid them. Both the Congress and NCP have ruled the state for maximum number of years, have controlled the cooperative sector and have delayed in paying back the loan amount with interest. Mungantiwar argued that people should know the facts about how the Congress and NCP have looted the state exchquer.

Speaking to newspersons on condition of anonymity, a senior official from the Ministry of Cooperation and Marketing disclosed that five district central cooperative banks (DCC) banks are in financial crisis due to lending of loans to 11 cooperative sugar and spinning mills which are controlled by big leaders from the Congress and NCP. The loan amount recoverable from these 11 cooperatives alone amounts to Rs 1,223.93 crore. Hence these banks are facing liquidity issue and even faced action from the Reserve Bank of India. He admitted that the department is planning a White Paper on the state of the cooperative sector, on how much loan and share capital has been availed from the government and how much amount they have repaid.

The official disclosed that these leaders have misused the government rule in which the repayment of the loan starts after the mill receives hundred per cent total subsidy amount entitled to it. In one case a leader did not accept the Rs 50,000 as share capital from the government just to ensure that he could delay the loan repayment. He said that there are several such cases and when the government came to know of these tactics, it stopped payment of these soft loans to all the cooperative sugar and spinning mills and asked the defaulting ones to repay the loans availed.  

Another ploy used by these political leaders is to appoint their own family members as chairmen of the village level primary cooperative societies which have farmers as their members. A chairmen here hve the automatic right to vote in elections to cooperative sugar and spinning mills and even Agriculture Produce Market Committees (APMC). The official added that these political leaders and their kin who control every arm of these cooperative bodies do not allow any other farmer to be registered as members and also decide on which farmer gets the loan. Hence, in a bid to break this nefarious nexus, the government has till now ensured registration of 50 lakh new farmers as members of these primary cooperative societies at the village level. At present the BJP does not have any significant presence in the sector and the move will help in gaining control over the politically influential sector in the state. At a recent conclave, Mungantiwar and Minister for Cooperation and Marketing Subhash Deshmukh had instructed the cadres to register 3,000 new cooperative institutions with an ultimate aim to dethrone the opposition Congress-NCP from the cooperative sector.

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