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An all-party delegation sans BJP would meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi to impress upon him the difficulties being faced by the co-operative sector in Kerala in the wake of demonetisation. The decision in this regard was taken at an all-party meeting chaired by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan. Briefing reporters after the meeting, he said the state’s co-operative sector was not prepared to compromise on the issue in any way, and the need of the hour was to work unitedly.
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The state government has called for a special session of the Assembly on Tuesday in this regard. “As of now, the decision is to send an all-party delegation to Delhi to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Finance minister Arun Jaitley,” he said.
The Chief Minister said the co-operative sector was not for made launching any “war” with the Income Tax department and that the latter should stick to inspections. The sector is not against deducting TDS of deposits of over Rs 25 lakhs. The district cooperative banks have no issues on its implementation, he said.
Vijayan alleged that BJP had reservations on the matter and wanted to know why the co-operative sector could not function as per RBI norms. The co-operative sector, besides extending credit, is also providing various other services like opening medical and consumer stores as part of its social commitment, he said.
“If we accept RBI guidelines, the co-operative sector can only perform credit business. The sector also gives low interest loans which an urban co-operative bank cannot give as per RBI,” the Left leader said. “If such cooperative institutions come under RBI norms, they would not be able to give loans at such nominal rates. That is why we are opposing any move to bring co-operative sector under RBI norms,” he said.
Vijayan added that the sector is also subjected to different kinds of audits. Although BJP President Kummananm Rajasekharan attended the meeting, he maintained that the saffron party cannot cooperate and support the stand of ruling CPI(M)-led LDF and Congress headed UDF, which he alleged was in “favour of black money hoarders.”