Centre must change outlook towards co-operative banks, support them: Sharad Pawar

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Pune, January 5, 2023: NCP chief and former Union Minister Sharad Pawar asserted that the Centre must change its outlook towards co-operative banks and firmly stand by them because they take banking services to the masses. “In the past few years, the Centre had to infuse over Rs 70,000 crore to revive nationalized banks, else they would have been in trouble. This fact disturbed me. Scams largely happen in co-operative banks, this misconception should be erased and Centre must back the co-operative banks and change its outlook towards them. The percentage of scams in co-operative banks is minimal, at 0.43. Co-operative sector’s role is instrumental in taking banking services to common people,” Pawar said during the closing ceremony of the golden jubilee year of The Vishweshwar Co-operative Bank Ltd, Pune at Tilak Smarak Mandir on Thursday.

Dr G B Deglurkar, former Chancellor of Deccan College Deemed University, banking expert Vidyadhar Anaskar, Vishweshwar Bank chairman Sunil Rukari, Vice Chairman Ajay Doijad, Director Anil Gadve, MP Shriniwas Patil, Vidyadhar Tathe, CEO Shriram Apte, Directors Dattatray Kamte, Subhash Ladge, Bapusaheb Dhankawade and Congress leader Ulhas Pawar were present on the occasion.

Pawar also recollected that Vaikuntalal Mehta, Dhananjay Gadgil, former Chief Ministers Yashwantrao Chavan and Vasantdada Patil played a key role in strengthening co-operative movement in Maharashtra.

“Maharashtra, which leads in the number of co-operative banks, and is followed by Gujarat and Karnataka, has a unique position in co-operative movement in the country,” Pawar said adding there were 1,514 number of co-operative banks in the country.

Pawar also lauded the fact that the Vishweshwar Bank’s net NPA was merely 1.34 percent, which was a positive sign and complimented all the office-bearers of the bank for it.

“The co-operative banks in the country have deposits worth Rs 5.26 lakh crore, of which Rs 3.61 lakh crore, that is about 61 percent, is in Maharashtra,” Vidyadhar Anaskar said, adding there is a need to give direction to the co-operative banking sector in the country.

“Vishweshwar Bank must share its inspirational and success story with other smaller banks,” he added.

Meanwhile, Pawar launched the internet banking services of the bank and its mobile app.

A special publication ‘Vishwartha’, which traces the bank’s journey and also has details about other co-operative banks in Pune district, was released on the occasion.