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Rediff.com  » Business » Revival package for Charminar Bank awaits RBI approval

Revival package for Charminar Bank awaits RBI approval

February 24, 2003 17:32 IST

A revival package for Charminar Cooperative Urban Bank, which had shut down after its chairman had committed suicide exactly an year ago, is awaiting the approval of the Reserve Bank of India.

Disclosing this in the State legislative Assembly during question hour on Monday, Minister for Cooperation Chikkala Ramachandra Rao said that the scheme for the reconstruction and revival of Charminar Bank was prepared to sent to the RBI for approval.

"It is under the active consideration of the RBI.  We are expecting approval very shortly," he added.

Opposition members sharply criticized the government for its indifferent and callous attitude in tackling the Charminar Bank issue. Leader of the Opposition Dr Y S Rajasekhar Reddy and Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen floor leader Asaduddin Owaisi voiced their protest.

Narrating the steps taken by the government to reopen the sick and closed bank, the minister said that efforts were made to recover the loans sanctioned by the bank before its closure.

Recoveries to the tune of Rs 40.78 crore (Rs 407.8 million) have been made so far. An arbitrator and four other officers were deputed to function as authorized officers to recover the dues through legal action.

The Criminal Investigation Department also attached the properties of certain borrowers under the AP Protection of Depositors of Financial Establishments Act and action was initiated for their prosecution.

The minister said that a special legislation was being contemplated to protect the interests of depositors of cooperative urban banks, in the wake of serious irregularities in the functioning of these banks, which resulted in the closure of several banks in the last couple of years.

Ramachandra Rao agreed that over 120,000 depositors, who had made deposits of Rs 100,000 or less in the bank, were having harrowing time, since they were given back only Rs 1,000 as relief in the last one year. The deposits of these small depositors amounted to Rs 140 crore (Rs 1.4 billion), including interest.

It may be recalled that Charminar Bank was closed down after its chairman Syed Alamdar Hussain Sajjad Aga committed suicide on February 25 last year (2002) following detection of gross financial irregularities by him and the bank's management.

With 21 branches, the bank had deposits of Rs 429 crore (Rs 4.29 billion and advances of Rs 272 crore (Rs 2.72 billion). Its share capital stood at Rs 6.83 crore (Rs 68.3 million) with a membership of 19,180 in the year 2000-01.

The RBI inspection team found that the net worth and bank's owned funds were eroded to an extent of 71.4 percent as on March 31, 2001 itself.

The bank reported its gross NPA at Rs 63.2 crore (Rs 632 million), which formed 23.2 percent of total loans and advances which stood at Rs 272 crore (Rs 2.72 billion).

Only 124 of the loanees had taken huge loans of Rs 170 crore (Rs 1.7 billion) and defrauded the bank.

The CID had filed a chargesheet in the metropolitan sessions judge court in the city against Charminar Bank, 19 business establishments and 68 accused persons, for defrauding the bank to the tune of Rs 57.8 crore (Rs 578 million).

Syed Amin Jafri in Hyderabad