People's Democracy(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)
January 07, 2007
People’s Bank Reopens
IN order to be able to make big loan recoveries from the big defaulters, there is need to make changes in recovery laws in regard to banks. If a loanee refuses to make repayment of huge loans on the ground that the industry for which the loan was taken is running into losses, it should be possible to recover the said loan from another industrial unit belonging to him, one which is making profits. The act should be so amended as to allow to confiscate his other property. This was the opinion expressed by CPI(M) Polit Bureau member Sitaram Yechury, MP. He also added that there is great need to save the urban cooperative banks also. He was speaking at a Victory Rally arranged by the Save Banks Committee on the occasion of reopening of the 80 years old People’s Bank in Nashik, with nearly 1.5 lakh depositors, after a long 30 months period. Dr D L Karad, president of the committee, was in the chair.
In Nashik, 5 or 6 banks stand closed and the Save Banks Committee has launched a serious and sustained struggle against the big defaulters to see that these banks reopen. The efforts first came to fruition when the Saptashringi Bank was merged with the Shamrao Bitthal Bank. After then, it appeared that all efforts on the part of the committee were failing. Nobody came forward to these banks’ rescue. But the People’s Bank administrator drafted a proposal which, if implemented, could help its reopening and, for this purpose, he held a series of discussion with the said committee’s leaders.
In response to a request from the committee, Sitaram Yechuri intervened in the matter, contacted the RBI higher-ups, the finance minister and effectively pleaded for sanction to the said proposal. Interestingly, the RBI accorded its sanction swiftly and the People’s Bank got reopened. Over a lakh of depositors heaved a sign of relief and felt gratified for what Sitaram Yechuri had done for them.
It was in this background that the Victory Rally was arranged, with Yechuri as the chief guest. He, inter alia said, assured the rally of making every possible effort for reopening yet another closed bank, namely the Shiram Bank. He added that reopening of the People’s Bank was the depositors’ victory.
CPI(M) state secretary Ashok Dhawale congratulated all the concerned people for their fierce battle. While thanking Yechuri, Dr D L Karad assured the rally that the battle would continue.
Earlier Shridhar Despande placed a resolution over the desired changes in the Banking Act and Tanaji Jaybhave made an introductory speech. From among the depositors, Marathe and Shirode also spoke. Vasudha Karad conducted the proceedings and Desle proposed the vote of thanks.