Cooperative banks in Karnataka are now under the Enforcement Directorate and Income Tax Department radar. Joint scrutiny by the agencies have revealed sudden surge in deposits in district cooperative banks, especially in north Karnataka region after the November 8 demonetisation announcement. Select banks are said to have received close to Rs 500 crore in deposits post demonetisation -- Rs 162 crore was deposited in Bagalkot cooperative bank alone. The Rs 500 crore deposits were made between November 9 and 14.
These deposits come at a time when the state has declared drought situation across Karnataka and farmers are committing suicide due to crop failure and inability to repay loans. The government is unwilling to waiver-off loans and has put the onus on the Central government. The highest deposits were made at the Bagalkot district cooperative bank whose board members are leaders of BJP as well as Congress.
Just like in the case of cooperative banks in Kerala, no proper documentation has been maintained in Karnataka cooperative bank deposits as well. Deposits ranging from Rs 10 lakh to Rs 2 crore have been recorded, but documents pertaining to the customers who deposited the same is being scrutinised.
While the ED and IT officials are verifying the source of such huge deposits, the bank managers maintain that the supposed raids were routine verification visits. The banks have been asked to explain the deposits along with producing information on the customers.