As the case filed by the District Central Cooperative Banks (DCCB)s comes up for hearing, National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) has submitted its report on the money deposited in the 31 DCCBs during the first four days of currency exchange post demonetisation.
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A total of Rs 4,700 crore in old currency notes had been deposited at the DCCBs before the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) barred the banks from accepting or exchanging the demonetised currency.
Exclusion of the DCCBs from exchanging and depositing the discontinued notes had led to a slew of cases with BJP MLC Pravin Darekar approaching the Supreme Court against it. The case had come up for hearing before the Chief Justice of India and instructions are expected to be issued on Thursday. Darekar is also the chairman of the Mumbai DCCB.
Last week, the RBI had asked NABARD to carry out specific checks on the source of the money that had been deposited at the banks during the initial days post demonetisation. The RBI had consistently refused to accept the money from the DCCBs. The DCCBs had also complained of a stepmotherly treatment on part of RBI and other currency chests when it came to providing them cash for customers. Subsequently, the RBI had issued directions for these banks to be given money to distribute to the rural population.
Suresh Birajdar, chairman of the Osmanabad DCCB, confirmed that NABARD officials had contacted them for details on the money they had exchanged. “Ours was a smaller amount and we immediately disclosed all the details to the officials,” he said.
Pune DCCB had seen collection of over Rs 600 crores with officials stating that majority of the deposits were from the various cooperative bodies like credit societies, milk societies and primary agricultural cooperative societies (PACS). “Districts where the cooperative structure is strong has seen more deposits than the districts where the cooperative structure is weak,” said an official.
While NABARD officials refused to divulge the details of the reports, officials and bankers have kept their fingers crossed for the hearing. “DCCBs are the heart and soul of rural banking and their cessation of business has put the whole rural population at great distress,” pointed out an official.