If elected to office, will wind up Kerala Bank: Congress

Thiruvananthapuram: The Congress in Kerala on Monday made it clear that if voted to office they would wind up the proposed Kerala Bank.

"If we are elected to office, we will wind up the Kerala Bank. We are soon going to approach the court as this Bank has been created by completely destroying the cooperative sector. We have nothing against a new commercial bank, but we will not allow it to happen at the expense of the sector, which has all through been the lifeline of the state's village economy," State Congress president Mullapally Ramachandran said.

Ramachandran was reacting to the statement made by the State Cooperation Minister Kadakampally Ramachandran, last week, stating that the Kerala High Court has disposed of the petitions on Friday and there are no impediments to form the bank on March 31 next year.

The Pinarayi Vijayan-led Left government had made it very clear right from the time they assumed office in 2016 that the Kerala Bank would be formed by merging 14 district cooperative banks with the Kerala State Cooperative Bank (KSCB).

The present set up of the cooperative banks in the state has a three-tier structure with the primary banks at the grassroots level which are attached to the respective district banks and the apex body is the KSCB.

The state Congress chief said the only prompting reason for the Vijayan government to go forward with the formation of the Kerala Bank is because there is a deposit base of Rs 1.53 lakh crore.

"The state at present is passing through one of its worst ever financial crisis on account of extravagance and poor fiscal management. They now want to place their hands on this huge deposit base and that's the only reason why they are going forward with it. But we make it very clear, if we come to office, this Kerala Bank will be wound up," said Ramachandran, who is a former Union minister.

Kerala will elect a new state government in May 2021.

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