Will initiate steps to get back documents seized by ED from Karuvannur bank: Minister VN Vasavan

Vasavan said the depositors of the Karuvannur Cooperative Bank will be paid back as early as possible. Photo: Special Arrangement

Kochi: Kerala's Minister for Cooperation V N Vasavan on Tuesday said that the state government will initiate legal measures to get back the documents seized by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) from the Kauvannur Cooperative Bank as part of the probe into the Rs 300 crore scam there.

The minister said the depositors of the Karuvannur Cooperative Bank will be paid back as early as possible. He reiterated the government's assurance while addressing media after a meeting convened to discuss the solutions to resolve the crisis in the cooperative bank.

"The ED has seized 162 land documents valued at Rs 184.62 crore and other documents from the bank. This has made it difficult to accept loan repayments. Legal measures will be initiated to get back the documents," the minister said.

Vasavan reiterated that the state government and the cooperation department had taken strict measures as soon as the financial irregularities in the bank came out. "As many as 18 cases were registered and investigation by the Vigilance and Anti-Corruption bureau as well as a special probe by a nine-member team were initiated," he said.

The minister said the depositors have been repaid Rs 73 crore as per a package announced earlier. The remaining amounts will be paid back as early as possible, he promised.

"As part of the new package, Rs 50.75 crore will be raised and paid to the depositors. The fund will be raised by collecting the amount which could be withdrawn from Kerala Bank, the amount due from Consumerfed and Cooperative Hospitals, amount that could be raised from cooperative societies as per existing permission, amount that could be received from fund board as well as the fresh funds to be raised by primary cooperative societies," the minister said. The amount raised will be haned over to permanent investors and savings investors.

An experienced official from the Kerala Bank will be appointed the chief executive to resolve the crisis in the Karuvannur bank. Arbitration recovery procedures will be strengthened, the minister said.

He said the concerted efforts to defame the cooperative sector will not succeed. All banks in crisis could be saved with the Cooperative Protection Fund, he said.

Kerala bank preisident Gopi Kottamurickal, Cooperation department secretary Mini Antony, registrar T V Subhash, Kerala Bank CEO P S Rajan, executive director K C Sahadevan, cooperative department officials and Karuvannur Bank administrative committee members attended the meet held at Ernakulam Guest House.  

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