After the demonetisation of old Rs. 500 and 1,000 notes on November 8, 2016, a district cooperative bank with his BJP’s Amit Shah as the director has netted the highest deposits, an RTI reply to a Mumbai activist, Manoranjan S. Roy has revealed.
According to a report in the IANS, Ahmedabad District Cooperative Bank (ADCB) has secured Rs 745.59 crore in deposits in five days after Narendra Modi made the announcement. The cooperative banks had been banned from accepting the demonetised notes from the public after the announcement, fearing that the laundering of black money could be highly likely.
“The amount of deposits made in the State Cooperative Banks (SCBs) and District Central Cooperative Banks (DCCBs) – revealed under RTI for first time since demonetisation – are astounding,” the activist said. The information was given by the Chief General Manager and Appellate Authority, S. Saravanavel, of the National Bank for Agriculture & Rural Development (NABARD).
Amit Shah has held the position of the director for several years and previously was the bank’s chairman in 2000. Its total deposits as of March 31, 2017 were Rs 5,050 crore and its net profit for 2016-17 was Rs 14.31 crore.
Following ADCB is Rajkot District Cooperative Bank whose chairman is the cabinet minister, Jayeshbhai Vitthalbhai Radadiya in Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani’s government. It had deposits of the demonetised notes worth Rs 693.19 crore. Furthermore, Rajkot is considered as ‘the hub of Gujarat BJP politics’ as Modi was elected as a legislator in 2001 from there.
“At this rate, serious questions arise about the actual collection of spiked notes through the remaining 14 mega-PSBs, besides rural-urban banks, private banks (like ICICI, HDFC and others), local cooperatives, Jankalyan Banks and credit cooperatives and other entities with banking licenses, the figures of which are not made available under RTI,” Roy stated.
He claimed it was a ‘serious matter’ if few banks and their branches and a handful post offices, apart from SCBs and DCCBs, had accounted for over half the old currency notes.
Defending ADCB, the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Develoment (NABARD), the topmost bank for rural economy credit said that ‘all the bank accounts into which the demonetised notes were deposited were verified and checked to see if they had complied with ‘know-your-customer’ (KYC) regulations.’
“NABARD conducted 100 % verification in Ahmedabad DCCB which revealed that the bank had complied with all the KYC Guidelines of the RBI while accepting the demonetised notes,” it said in a statement which was released on Friday.
It also added that ‘as per the verification report of NABARD, required under the extant guidelines, the bank had also submitted the required Cash Transaction Reports (CTRs) and STRs to FlU-India wherever required.’
PM Modi had declared the demonetisation of old currency notes Rs. 500 and 1,000 on November 2016 and had stated that the notes ‘could be deposited in bank or post office accounts from November 10 till close of banking hours on December 30, 2016, without any limit.’ After his allies had created an uproar, a small window, allowing 32 SCBs and 370 DCCBs which were largely owned, managed or controlled by politicians of various parties, to deposit their stocks of the spiked notes with the RBI had been opened in 2017, amid strong criticism by the Congress and other parties.