KOCHI: In the race to finish the merger of 14 District Cooperative Banks (DCB) to form one of the state’s largest bank - Kerala Cooperative Bank - before the RBI-stipulated deadline of March 31, the government will introduce a bill to amend the Kerala Co-operative Societies Act on Feb 1.
Earlier, five dissenting UDF-controlled DCBs - Malappuram, Idukki, Kottayam, Wayanad and Kasargod - were unable to join the process as the Kerala Co-operative Societies Act mandated a 2/3rd majority from individual DCB general bodies for mergers and acquisitions.
“The government had brought out an ordinance amending the 2/3rd majority clause to a simple majority last month. The updated Act will enable all 13 DCBs to merge to form the Kerala Bank,” said Mini Thomas, Secretary, Co-operative Department. Malappuram DCB with its 80 primary agricultural societies (PAC) out of 129 that constitute the general body being controlled by the UDF-allies, will be the only one to be left out of the equation. The government had earlier indicated the DCBs opposed to the merger will have to transform into ‘Urban Co-operative Banks’ in the incoming two-tier structure of the co-operative banking system in the state.
The secretary said the process of integration of accounts and tenders inviting software solutions from technology firms will be initiated soon.
Most crucial event of 2019-20 will be Kerala Bank formation: Isaac
Kochi: Finance Minister Thomas Isaac stated it may not be an exaggeration to say the most decisive event of 2019-20 will be the formation of Kerala Bank, which will strictly be done in accordance with the Kerala Co-operative Societies Act & Rules. “In this Assembly session, the legal framework for the formation of Kerala Bank will be in place after bringing required amendments in the Co-operative Act,” he said, adding the first Scheduled Bank in the Co-operative sector in India is expected to increase its deposit strength from `57,761 crore to `64,741 crore as it can accept deposits from non-residents as well, unlike the existing co-operative banks and the issue of bad debts, amounting to `306 crore, of Marketfed and Rubco, was resolved when the Government repaid it. As a result of this, the bank can strongly support new enterprises in the agricultural and industrial sectors. The bank being an apex body, can provide a protective cover to 1,542 Primary Credit Co-operative Societies/Banks.