Thiruvananthapuram: The Enforcement Directorate officials on Thursday conducted inspections in the district co-operative banks of Kannur, Kozhikode, and Thrissur. Meanwhile, the CBI officials held inspections in district co-operative bank in Kollam and Malappuram.
The aim behind the inspections was to find out if there has been laundering of black money through these banks. There were also allegations that money transferred from abroad using hawala channels has been parked in some of these Co-operative banks.
The records of deposits made after November 8 are under scrutiny, they are also checking if there has been an increase in deposits after demonetisation compared to the previous months.
Kadkampally Surendran, Minister for Co-operative sector, said that they welcome the investigations conducted by ED and CBI. Referring it to a politically motivated movement, he said that the central government and RBI are trying to destroy the co-operative banks in the state right from November 8.
He said, “The government from the beginning has maintained that any kind of investigation is welcome. We are welcoming any kind of enquiry, even if the enquiry is with a political motive of destroying the co-operative banks in the state. “
He added that if the agencies find out any irregularities the government will take appropriate action. The allegation against the co-operative bank sector has its political implications. Traditionally CPM has a huge base in the primary co-operative sector followed by the congress.
Right from the time of demonetisation both the left front and the UDF has been demanding that the co-operative banks should be treated at par with other banks.
The entire cabinet led by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan had sat on a one-day satyagraha in front of the regional office of RBI, demanding that the sector should not be destroyed with their norms.
The state unit of the BJP has been alleging that black money is deposited in many of these banks. They have also raised allegations that many political leaders have also parked their unaccounted cash in these banks.
BJP leader K Surendran also raised allegations against co-operative minister Kadakampally Surendran. The primary co-operative banks have played a major role in strengthening the rural economy in the state.
There are about 1,551 primary co-operative banks in the state that has deposits about 1 lakh 37,000 crore rupee out of which about 80 percent is given as loan for various purposes including, agriculture, marriages, house, two wheeler.