Mysore/Mysuru: Expressing concern over increasing cases of irregularities and scams in Co-operative Societies, Co-operation and Mysuru District In-charge Minister S.T. Somashekar said that stringent laws are needed to prevent scams.
He was speaking at the valedictory of 69th All India Co-operative Week organised by Karnataka State Co-operative Federation at KSOU Convocation Hall here yesterday.
Noting that a Rs. 1,270 crore massive scam was unearthed in Bengaluru’s Raghavendra Co-operative Bank, Somashekar said that similar scams have been reported from several other Co-operative Banks/Societies in the past few years, which is a matter of great concern. As such, stringent laws are the need of the hour for reposing public trust in Co-operative Societies and Banks, he said adding that the RBI too has taken stringent action to prevent frauds and scams.
Maintaining that the previous Government had given a go-by to Yeshasvini Health Scheme, which was introduced when S.M. Krishna was the Chief Minister two decades ago, Somashekar said that now the Bommai Government has re-launched the popular health scheme on Nov. 14. More than 1 lakh farmers have enrolled for the scheme thus far, he added.
Stating that 21 DCC Banks in the State are running profitably, the Minister said that 3,500 out of the 5,700 PACCS (Primary Agricultural Credit Co-operative Societies) are functioning from their own buildings. The co-operative sector is growing by leaps and bounds over the years, he said adding that these Societies and Banks are playing an imperative role in the country’s economy by extending loans to farmers.
Chamundeshwari MLA G.T. Devegowda (GTD), who is also Karnataka Co-operative Federation Chairman, said that it is high time Co-operative Societies make an introspection of themselves. Stressing on the need for following discipline, dedication and determination in Co-operative Institutions, he said that though the co-operative sector is witnessing an upward growth, it must be ensured that there are no derailments or lapses in growth.
GTD further said that Co-operative Societies have been playing a crucial role in poverty alleviation. Asserting that he grew up in politics because of co-operative sector, he observed that the sector has helped many politicians like him.
MLC Madhu G. Madegowda, in his address, regretted increasing political interference in the functioning of PACCSs. Calling upon the Co-operation Minister to stop such interference, he warned that interference will badly affect the health of the co-operative sector.
‘Sahakara Ratna’ award was conferred on the following co-operative sector achievers: Puttaiah, Dr. M.B. Manjegowda, K. Umashankar, K.N. Basant, Parthasarathy, C. Om Prakash, A.T. Somashekar and Shankaranarayanashastri from Mysuru district, M.P. Muthappa and M.N. Kumarappa from Kodagu district, G. Madivalappa and K.R. Basavaraju from Chamarajanagar district, Vijayalakshmi Lootimath from Dharwad district and S. Nagendra, K.C. Jogigowda, S. Basavegowda and H. Ashok from Mandya district.
Also, senior Co-operators were felicitated and ‘Sahakara’, a weekly magazine was released on the occasion.
Karnataka State Credit Co-operative Societies Federation Chairperson G.T. Lalitha Devegowda, Mysuru District Co-operative Union President H.V. Rajeev, MANMUL President B.R. Ramachandra, MCDCC Bank President G.D. Harishgowda, MyMUL President P.M. Prasanna, Mayor Shivakumar, Chairmen of different Boards and Corporations — K.P. Siddalingaswamy, M. Shivakumar and Mirle Srinivas Gowda and several others were present.
Earlier, hundreds of members of Co-operative bodies converged at Jaladarshini Guest House and went in a procession to the venue — KSOU Convocation Hall in Muktagangothri campus along Hunsur road, accompanied by a host of folk troupes.
District Minister gheraoed
District Minister S.T. Somashekar, who too was part of the procession, was gheraoed by Sugarcane growers when he arrived at the venue.
Questioning the Minister on why he did not have the courtesy to visit them even though they sat on a dharna for 10 days, the farmers demanded an immediate hike in FRP (Fair and Remunerative Price) for sugarcane.
The Minister proceeded to the function venue after the Police succeeded in convincing the protestors.