Beleaguered Baripada Co-Op Bank A Relic Of Held Promises

Mayurbhanj: It’s close to 10 months since Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik promised to take urgent steps for revamping of the defunct Urban Co-operative Bank in Baripada, but the assurances seem to be languishing in cold storage.

While thousands of depositors are anxious over not being able to withdraw their money, attempts by the government over the matter have remained a non-starter.

The Chief Minister had promised that the State government would take necessary steps to functionalise the bank while addressing a public meeting at Baripada Chhau ground during BJD’s Mission Shakti programme in January 30, 2019 and had even assured to lend financial assistance for the same.

It may be noted that, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) had shut down the bank after charges of irregularities and management issues were levelled against the bank five years ago. Since then, more than 70,000 odd depositors are yet to see the light of the day. Despite CM Naveen’s letter for central assistance in this case, there has been no positive result.

Before CM’s promise, a meeting was held under the chairmanship of Chief Secretary for a review on the status of the bank and it was decided that the State government would give 50 per cent of share capital and the rest would be supplied by the bank for its re-licensing.

Asked about the issue, while the bank authorities have clarified that they have already submitted half of the share capital, the State government has neither given the rest of the amount not filed any affidavit in the court.

Meanwhile,  locals have expressed discontent over the inordinate delay by the State government in resolving the matter.

“The government should sincerely think whether they should give more importance to the interests of a handful of people or the welfare of more than 70,000 depositors. We urge the CM to take necessary action to fulfill his promises,” said a depositor Rabindra Kumar Panda.

Speaking on the issue, State Co-operation Minister Ranendra Pratap Swain said, “I will look into the issue and accordingly action will be taken after an enquiry report”