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  Metros   Mumbai  06 Jul 2017  Banks give private company loans worth Rs 328 crore in name of farmers

Banks give private company loans worth Rs 328 crore in name of farmers

THE ASIAN AGE. | AMEY TIRODKAR
Published : Jul 6, 2017, 3:00 am IST
Updated : Jul 6, 2017, 3:00 am IST

Maruti Rathod, a farmer from Gangakhed tehsil of Parbhani district, needed loan for his father’s treatment.

In due course, the farmers also got their hands on the internal audit report of Syndicate Bank.
 In due course, the farmers also got their hands on the internal audit report of Syndicate Bank.

Mumbai: Five nationalised banks and a private bank have allegedly given loans worth Rs 328 crore in the name of 10,000 farmers to a private company.

The Aurangabad bench of the Bombay high court has asked the state’s Economic Offences Wing (EOW) to investigate the matter thoroughly and submit to it a report by July 25. Loans were given to Gangakhed Sugar and Energy private limited. Ratnakar Gutte, local leader of Rashtriya Samaj Paksha, an alliance partner of Bharatiya Janata Party in the state, is chairman of the sugar mill.

Maruti Rathod, a farmer from Gangakhed tehsil of Parbhani district, needed loan for his father’s treatment. When he approached the Parbhani branch of UCO Bank for the loan, he came to know that a loan of Rs 1.86 lakh had already been issued on his name by the bank's Dharampeth branch of Nagpur.

When Mr Rathod inquired further, he got to know that the said loan was given to Gangakhed Sugar and Energy private limited. Some other farmers from the same tehsil had similar experiences in different banks.

When farmers started inquiring into the issue they came to know that six different banks had given almost Rs 328 crore loan to Gangakhed Sugar and Energy private limited.

In due course, the farmers also got their hands on the internal audit report of Syndicate Bank.

Farmers approached the Aurangabad bench of the high court and requested an investigation. The court has duly ordered the police to form a special cell for the same. The court has also asked the police to submit to it an investigation report by July 25.

When contacted, Mr Gutte called the allegations politically motivated. “If you see the nature of the allegations nobody would believe it. I would say now that the truth will come out from the investigation,” he said.   

BANKS AND THE AMOUNTS LOANED

  • Andhra Bank: Rs 39.17 crore
  • Uco Bank: Rs 47.78 crore
  • United Bank of India: Rs 76.32 crore
  • Bank Of India: Rs 77.59 crore
  • Syndicate Bank: Rs 47.27 crore
  • Ratnakar Bank: Rs 40.20 crore
  • Total: Rs 328 crore

Findings of the internal audit

  • Gangakhed sugar mill failed to submit Credit Information Bureau India Limited report by March 31, 2017 of 2,607 farmers which was guaranteed while issuing the loan.
  • Bank officials did not take permission while disbursing crop loan above the limit.
  • Bank committed grave mistake by believing papers provided by Gangakhed mill about farmers. Bank also failed to complete the Know Your Customer (KYC) process while disbursing loan to farmers.
  • While disbursing loan, the bank did not ask for the current 7/12. It also cleared loans for sugarcane to farmers who did not even sow it.

Tags: bombay high court, economic offences wing
Location: India, Maharashtra, Mumbai (Bombay)