No alternative to co-operative movement: Kupekar

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Nashik, Dec 22: Babasaheb Kupekar Chairman Maharashtra Legislative Assembly, today pointed out that though co-operative movement is in crisis at present, there is no alternative to it.

Earlier, co-operative movement in Maharashtra was a guiding one for the nation but how it has lost its transparency and facing crisis. Despite this, there is no alternative to the co-operative movement Mr Kupekar said in his address when he was present as a Chief Guest of the merger ceremony of Nashik People's Co-operative Bank in the Saraswat co-operative Bank here, today.

Mr Kupekar also added that handing over the industries to private sector could not be the alternative and only co-operative movement can make development in rural as well as urban areas.

Shiv Sena MP Anant Gite who was also presided at the programme, in his address stressed the need for good leadership for co-operative movement and its development.

Saraswat Bank Director MP Eknath Thakur in his speech stated that the Saraswat Bank aims to bring profit from the Nashik People's Bank which is facing losses today. ''We are confident that it will make up the losses incurred earlier,'' said Mr Thakur, adding that during this process, the Bank will preserve its commitment with the common man.

A cheque of Rs one crore was handed over to Mr Kaustabh Amte by Mr Anant Gite on the occasion. It was a donation from the Bank for project Hope - a veteran social servant Baba Amte's project for farmers of Yavatmal district to dissuade them from committing suicides. The project is situated in Malegaon village of Yavatmal district.

In June 2007, the Saraswat Co-operative Bank had entered into an MoU for merger of the Nashik people's Co-operative Bank Ltd.

With the merger of the two Banks the Saraswat Co-operative Bank Ltd, a premier urban Co-operative Bank in the country with 127 branches, and the Nashik Peoples Co-operative Bank ltd, with an network of 14 branches, will be a sign of relief for depositors of the Nashik People's Bank.

Though one of the oldest Banks in Nashik district the People's Co-operative Bank was facing financial difficulties due to misappropriation of funds as well as financial irregularities. The Saraswat Bank has recently crossed Rs 10,000 crores deposit level whereas the People's Bank has deposits of Rs 124 crore and advances of Rs 68 crore. The Peoples Bank has 1,30,478 deposit accounts.

The total business after the merger will be Rs 17,000 crore approximately, which is considered as a rejuvenating achievement for the co-operative sector. With this merger the Saraswat Bank will have 141 branches in its network along the permission for converting its 12 extension counters into full-fledged branches, Bank will have 153 branches till the year-end. It will be the only Bank among the Co-operative Banks to have more than 150 branches.

After the merger some of the Saraswat employees will be posted at the People's Bank and vice versa.

Many dignitaries from various strata of life employees of both the Banks and depositors were present on the occasion.

UNI

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