NEW DELHI: Leaders of cooperative sector should think of a self-regulatory mechanism to strengthen it and prevent recurrence of scams like Punjab and Maharashtra Cooperative Bank case, Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal said on Sunday.
He said that whistleblowers should come forward wherever such things are happening, as several people must have been involved in such a scam. "I do not think that such a scam can happen without the involvement of hundreds of people. Several accounts must have been opened, funds must have been diverted. Branches and some employees must have been involved in this," Goyal said.
It would not be possible for the government to look at every institution and issues, the minister said here at India International Cooperative Trade Fair. "I think that leaders of the cooperative sector should think of a self-regulatory mechanism through which the sector can be strengthened," he said.
Citing the example of PMC scam, Goyal said some "bad apples" ruin the reputation of such an important sector. Punjab & Maharashtra Cooperative (PMC) Bank is facing regulatory action on account of major financial irregularities, failure of internal control and systems, and wrong/under-reporting of its exposures under various off-site surveillance reports to the RBI that came to its notice last month.
The minister also said the finance minister has stated that she is looking into the matter so that depositors do not face a problem. It is "our responsibility to ponder so that such incidents do not malign the name of the cooperative sector," he added.
Further, he said that the sector should think of offering its products on public procurement portal GeM. The ministry is mulling to open the portal for the public.