Kerala Bank will be strengthened, says Vasavan

‘New options of cooperative banks will be explored’

Modernisation of the State’s cooperative sector, strengthening of Kerala Bank, and formulation of innovative loan schemes for farmers and working class are the priorities of V.N. Vasavan, the newly appointed Minister for Cooperation and Registration.

In an interaction here on Saturday, Mr. Vasavan said the inflow of capital in the form of Non-Resident Indian (NRI) deposits would prove to be a game-changer for Kerala Bank. “Funds with local self-government institutions and the salaries of its employees are being handled by the State Bank of India. Discussions will be initiated to see if these operations could be shifted to Kerala Bank,” he said.

The possibility of extending the operations of cooperative banks to newer sectors will be explored in compliance with the guidelines of the Reserve Bank of India. “More importantly, procedures for taking loans will be simplified for the benefit of the common people. The possibility of bringing all cooperative banks in a single loop will be discussed, besides a possible migration to the core banking system,” added Mr. Vasavan.

Holding that the State’s primary sector is heavily dependent on cooperative banking, Mr. Vasavan vowed to protect the sector at all costs. He urged the Union government not to take control of the cooperative banks by introducing unnecessary regulations.

“The State has already conveyed its objections toward the implementation of the Securitisation and Reconstruction of Financial Assets and Enforcement of Securities Interest Act, 2002 (SARFAESI Act). The government cannot accept the people losing their shelter in the name of property attachments,” noted Mr. Vasavan.

Mr. Vasavan said an online registration system in the Registration Department would be introduced by protecting document writers. “There are lakhs of document writers in the State. We will initiate talks in various fields to protect their interests when an online registration system is implemented. At the same time, complaints about the department will be examined and a more efficient functioning will be ensured,” he said.

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