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Now junior college teachers join agitation against Mumbai Bank

Monday, July 17, 2017
By Raju Vernekar

Even as the opposition to deposit the salary of secondary school teachers and non teaching staff of aided and partly aided schools in “Mumbai Bank” is on, teachers of several colleges, joined the agitation on Saturday.

In a resolution the teachers working in Patkar College, Goregaon, Kirti College, Dadar, Dahanukar College, Vile Parle, R D National College, Bandra, Pendharkar College, Dombivli, Acharya and Marathe College, Chembur, SNDT College, Ghatkopar and Khalsa College, Matunga refused to open their accounts in “Mumbai Bank”.

The resolution stated that the “Mumbai district cooperative Bank” has 25 branches and only 25 ATMs in Mumbai. Whereas 75 per cent of over 27,000 teachers reside outside Mumbai where Mumbai Bank ATMs are not available. Resultantly they will be forced to withdraw their salary from other banks and bear the ATM charges. “As such the education department should continue to deposit the salary in Union Bank as was done earlier or open the accounts in any other nationalized bank, Sharad Giramkar of “Shikshak Bharati” told The Afternoon D & C and added that the agitation against the“Mumbai Bank” will continue. The Mumbai Bank does not figure in the list of 12 cooperative banks recognized by the state finance department. The salaries and deposits of some teachers have been locked up in 5 other district cooperative banks facing losses, he added.

In a related development, Kapil Patil, MLC and President of the state unit of the Janata Dal (U), in a letter to RBI Governor has complained that the officers of the “Mumbai Bank” were visiting the schools and forcing teachers to sign the applications forms to open bank accounts in “Mumbai Bank” even without completion of KYC (know your customer) formalities. This was a criminal offence he has pointed out and has demanded action against the “Mumbai Bank”.

The salary of the teachers and non-teaching staff was being credited till recently in the Union Bank of India.However on 3 rd June 2017, the education department issued a government resolution (GR) on June 3, 2017 stating that the salary will be credited in Mumbai Bank from July 1 onwards. The decision has been taken to strengthen the state’s co-operative movement, the GR stated and added that the Mumbai Bank’s computer software programme is comparable with that of other nationalised banks.

However the banks is facing an inquiry by the Economic Offences Wing (EOW) for a Rs 412 crore fraud. The complaint against the bank was filed by BJP  functionary, Vivekanand Gupta, supported by Education Minister Vinod Tawade (who was in opposition that time). The bank has also been indicted by the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD), for several irregularities and giving out bad loans. Under the circumstances, the bank is being patronised only due to political considerations, MLC Kapil Patil said adding that when the FIR has been filed against the bank directors, it cannot be given further responsibility at the cost of the teachers. The teachers from Nagpur have already lost their life savings when the Nagpur co-op bank, went into red, he added.

The “Mumbai Bank” is led by BJP MLC and BJP Mumbai unit vice president, Pravin Darekar, who was booked by the police in 2015 on charges of leading the bank to  substantial loss, due to the alleged embezzlement of funds. Darekar who was an MNS MLA, had crossed over to the BJP soon after 2014 assembly elections.

The teachers submitting a memorandum to the Union Minister of Ministry of Human Resource Development Prakash Javadekar. Seen in the picture are: MLC Kapil Patil, Subhas More, Ashok Belsare and Jalinder Sarode.

However one of the directors of the Mumbai Bank told The Afternoon D &C, that by now nearly 10,000 teachers have enrolled their names with the bank and their number was growing. “We provide all facilities to the account holders and as such there is no reason why anyone should complain against our bank”.

In yet another development teachers organised under the banner of “Shikshak Bharati” recently called on Union Human Resource Development Minister Prakash Javadekar and urged him to look into the matter. They also told him that several night school teachers are finding to survive due to the state government’s new regulations.

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