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Gujarat cooperative banks for ‘united fight’ against RBI

Ahmedabad: Gujarat’s District Central Cooperative Banks (DCCBs) have called for a “united fight” against the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) for not allowing them to exchange defunct currency notes or have them deposited or withdrawn by customers.

The DCCBs have termed this as a “discriminatory” move.

“The board members of the Gujarat State Cooperative Bank, which has 18 DCCBs across the state associated with it, met to discuss the problems faced by account holders of these banks,” said BJP leader Dilip Sanghani, who is Chairman of National Federation of State Cooperative Banks and was considered close to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

“Over one crore account holders of these banks in the state are facing problems because of the RBI’s move and majority of them are farmers and people in the rural areas. During the meeting, the board members called for a united fight against the RBI’s decision,” Sanghani said.

The meeting was held on Tuesday.

After the meeting, Gujarat State Cooperative Bank Chairman Ajay Patel said the board wants the national federation to meet the RBI and discuss difficulties being faced by the account holders of the cooperative banks and come up with a solution.

“We want the national federation to convey our concerns to the RBI and discuss problems being faced by our account holders, most of whom are farmers, farm labourers and rural populace.

The RBI should come out with a solution as soon as possible, before the December 30 deadline (of accepting scrapped notes by banks),” Patel said.

A board member said the RBI’s “discriminatory approach” should be investigated.

“DCCBs operate under RBI rules and guideline, like any other banks, and it is a matter of investigation as to why they were asked not to exchange or withdraw currency notes. We want to know why the government is silent on this discriminatory approach of RBI,” said Nanu Vaghani, a board member and Chairman of Bhavnagar District Cooperative Bank.

The RBI has barred district cooperative banks from accepting the scrapped notes and also withdrawal of valid currencies unlike their private and public sector counterparts.

The move has triggered protests by farmers in different pockets in the state.