Mysterious cash in Bengal co-op banks

Kolkatta, November 21
Centre’s surgical strike on black money has led to unusual clotting of unexplained currency in cooperative banks across Bengal districts. The amount has run into several hundred crores, sources say.
The abnormal accumulation of old currency notes that the Opposition parties have promptly linked to the ruling Trinamool Congress leaders’ “chit fund and palm-greasing account,” include Rs 58 crore 21 lakh deposited in first four days at Raiganj cooperative bank – post November 8 when Prime Minister Narendra Modi dropped his demonetisation shell.
While bank chairman Nizamuddin Siddiqui claimed the bank had witnessed a 6 per cent increase in deposits which normally is pegged around Rs 1.60 crore insiders said the stated rate of increase do not match the actual deposits which amount to Rs 58 crore.
“Even if we deduct the Rs 12 crore deposited by other cooperative banks and Rs 5 crore paid in loan-repayment account then also the net deposit comes to around Rs 41 crore,” said local CPI(M) MP Md Salim who has promptly dashed off a letter to the Reserve Bank of India.
In fact the Income Tax Department on Saturday conducted raids in the bank and took away the account books, sources said.
“In other banks also we are getting similar news and it is upon the investigating agencies to zero-in on these banks” Salim said quoting reports.
Insofar as other banks are concerned till November 13 about Rs 1,000 crore were deposited in the 300 branches of 17 central cooperative banks. Most of the cash in these banks came in from the 5,000 primary cooperative societies.
According to sources Hooghly district cooperative bank received a deposit of Rs 124 crore while the bank in Nadia got a deposit of Rs 150 crore. While Midnapore Vidyasagar cooperative Bank received a deposit of Rs 55 crore the figure for Malda was Rs 100 crore. Burdwan, Howrah and East Midnapore jointly accounted for about Rs 100 crore sources said.
Reacting to the huge amount of deposits Congress’ OP Mishra said there was a need to probe the source of these funds while Salim said “his party would soon write to the RBI to investigate how so much of money could be deposited in these banks,” alleging most of the money were linked to Trinamool Congress ill-gotten earnings.
“They have earned black money not only from chit fund but also by squeezing lakhs of rupees in the Teachers’ Eligibility Test, SSC, SJDA, Trident and other scams,” he said adding “Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee is raising a hue and cry to save thousands of crores her party leaders earned from various scams.

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