We should not be overjoyed or relieved that the party and the government have taken strong action when the Iringalakuda Karuvannur Bank scam came to light. This is because all the measures taken against corruption in the co-operative sector often end up as mere ‘demonstrations’. Many political leaders in the region want the co-operatives to remain corrupt. Only then can those in need be given jobs and loans as they see fit. Even if the non-performing loans reach crores and the foundation stone of the bank is shaken, no one should be able to escape unscathed.
Corruption must survive
One need only look at the existing audit system to realize that it is in the interest of some officials to perpetuate corruption in the co-operative sector.
In 1981, there were 7000 co-operative societies, 800 branches, 5000 files and an investment of Rs 10,000 crore. It now has 23,080 institutions, 12,600 branches and 4 lakh files. However, the number of employees auditing has not changed for 40 years.
In 2013, the Center for Management Studies was appointed as the agency to re-evaluate the number of auditors. They reported but sank.
തീരുമാനം The decision of the Finance Ministry to re-determine the number of auditors during the last Cabinet came to the Cabinet but was not implemented due to opposition.
∙ By law, unit auditors are required to conduct up to 30 audits per year. However, up to 10 audits per month have to be done in 24 working days.
സംഘ A team with 2 branches will have an average of 300 cash vouchers per day. Auditing a month’s voucher in one day. Problem vouchers are often not issued for inspection.
എണ്ണം Despite a growth of 800% in business and 400% in the number of firms, the number of auditors has not increased.
No banking experts
Although the co-operative sector has grown into a large banking sector, no action has been taken to recruit top banking experts. IAS officers are now appointed as co-operative registrars. Many of them have no connection with the banking sector. They do not have to be able to catch scams accurately. But the government is not ready to hire banking experts to facilitate the protection of interests. Even the files recommended for vigilance action have not been taken up by the Co-operation Department.
No Chartered Accountant
It is not uncommon to seek the services of chartered accountants for auditing in co-operative banks. Chartered accountants will be stripped of their audit authority if they are found to be complicit in fraud. They cannot be audited as the political leadership of the bank says. Leaders cannot control such auditors by force. Therefore, the authorities are not eager to seek their services. The Assistant Registrar, who had not acted for four years despite receiving an audit report confirming corruption in Karuvannur, was appointed as the administrator when the board dismissed him.
No one should audit
Most frauds can only be prevented by the law requiring auditors of co-operatives to audit their accounts with chartered accountants. With this, the employees can also work honestly. Many are under the threat and pressure of the bank leadership to turn a blind eye to irregularities. Due to the heavy workload, many people have to sign even the audit report of the files which are not checked properly. The only defendants in the case are the employees. Money launderers and accomplices will escape with influence.
The recommendation to develop generally centralized software for financial transactions is also not being implemented. With the advent of centralized software, banks will no longer be able to carry out centralized counterfeiting. The bank fraud in Karuvannur was due to widespread irregularities in the software currently in use. എല്ലാAll the liabilities of the borrowers were forged in the software and erased. The software did not change the audit report.
5 questions to the CPM
1. Why did Karuvannur Co-operative Bank remain silent despite knowing that frauds were going on for 11 years?
2. Why was the report of the Commission of Inquiry into the 2010 complaint lodged by a party member into bank corruption buried?
3. How come the complaints that the party is interfering in the audit of the co-operative banks and the officials are being forced to cover up the irregularities have repeatedly faded?
4. Why didn’t the issue reach beyond the district committee even though the minister from Thrissur was in charge of the co-operation department at the time of the scam?
5. Does the party, which also knows the assets of its members, not know that the accused quickly became millionaires?
5 questions to the government
1. Why has the Co-operation Department not taken action despite mentioning irregularities in all the audit reports during the last 10 years?
2. What steps will be taken to repay the investors?
3. Former secretary of the bank TR, who is also a member of the party’s local committee, said that the fraud was committed with the knowledge of the governing body. Despite Sunil Kumar’s report to the Joint Registrar a year and a half ago, which governing body has not been dissolved?
4. What is the impediment to extending the probe to party leaders accused of involvement in fraud?
5. Asst. What is the reason for appointing him as an administrator a week ago when the registrar did not stop the corruption?
Sadanandan, who lost a leg, is owed Rs 40 lakh
Sadanandan, who lost a leg in the accident, is carrying his family on his shoulders from the lottery proceeds. The life of Karalam Pullathara Perumpilly Sadanandan was in crisis when the loan given by Karuvannur Bank increased. Sadanand’s wife Jaya paid 16 cents in her name and took a loan of Rs 10 lakh from a bank in 2013 to build a house. Sadanandan saved his son Sumesh’s wages from the sale of the lottery and repayed the amount for 2 years. Later the installments were canceled due to financial difficulties. I received a notice from the bank 3 years ago.
Jaya and her son Sumesh went to the bank with Rs 40,000. It is known that the loan was not ten but 25 lakhs. The total arrears including interest is around Rs 40 lakh. Jaya had arranged the loan with the help of a relative, a former woman director of the bank. Bank officials had signed everything they said. Meanwhile, the woman director went abroad. The complaint was lodged on December 4, 2019 with the IG and the Joint Registrar of Co-operatives. Police recorded Jaya’s statement but no action was taken. The collector also made a detailed statement. Jaya’s family includes the children of her dead daughter. With the loss of the lottery business and his son’s job, the family is finding it difficult to make a living.
Has an investment of Rs 8 lakh; But you have to borrow to take care of the house
Jackson George from Kanjirakadan started standing in front of Karuvannur Bank on May 14. On intermittent days that stand still continues. Out of the Rs 12 lakh deposit in the bank, Rs 8 lakh is yet to be received. When he needed money for house repairs, he had to borrow gold from another financial institution.
Jackson tried to withdraw the deposit as soon as he received a tip-off about the bank’s irregularities, but the day’s wait was short, with the condition that no more than Rs 10,000 be allowed. The condition in the first week of June was that if you want to be in the top 30 to get a token, you have to arrive before 7am. By mid-June, it had reached a point where more than a dozen people would be in line by 5 p.m.
By July, the line started at three or two in the morning. Two weeks ago, at 10 pm, people were queuing up. A few days ago, there was a ‘record’ in the queue: 80 people lined up at 5.30 pm yesterday! Police arrived and dispersed the crowd. The police were instructed to arrive the next morning after reminding each of the people in the front and back of the line. But when he arrived the next day, Jackson said, there was a commotion over the disorder.
‘10,000 now, next round on August 6 ‘
‘It is not so difficult to take a loan from any bank ..’ Antony and his wife Nimmi from Iringalakuda South shared their frustration when they came out with Rs. It has been months since the elderly couple started working to get back the Rs 20 lakh they had deposited in the bank in their son’s name. After waiting for hours, he withdrew Rs 10,000 using a graded token. The next 10,000 withdrawal tokens were received on August 6th.
Antony invested the rest of the money in the shares 8 years ago. 20 lakh with interest. ‘It was money set aside to buy some land in my name. I don’t know what to do anymore ‘- says Nimmi with tears in her eyes. Antony had started trying to withdraw the money as soon as he heard about the scam. See the long lines as each day arrives. Anthony came to line up in front of the bank last night. There were still 200 people. Most people get a date two to three weeks later.
Money raised from housework; Susheela with a heart
There are two reasons why Susheela (62) has a heart attack in Mapranam Warikattil. The first nouveau riche is a life-threatening heart disease. The second pain is the non-return of the Rs 1 lakh deposited in the Karuvannur Co-operative Bank after years of doing housework. Unmarried Susheela has nothing else to say about the savings.
He has been doing housework for 30 years. In addition to heart disease, kidney disease is also a concern. He lives in a house built by the Iringalakuda municipality. The house work is not finished. It was deposited in the bank by adding one hundred and two hundred from the wages of the housemaid. When he heard about the fraud in the bank, Susheela went to withdraw his deposit for 2 days. He withdrew Rs 10,000 each from the sun for four and a half hours but went to bed with fever. Health does not allow Susheela to go back and line up.