On Tuesday, Reserve Bank of India’s mailbox was flooded with more than 1.20 lakh emails from cooperative credit societies of Maharashtra. These 16,000-odd credit societies that have been the lifeline of the rural economy find themselves out of the banking mainstream following the RBI’s strictures against them post demonetisation, and have decided to protest in a unique way – sending more than 1 lakh emails to governor Urjit Patel.
If this does not work, societies have decided to assemble at the Azad Maidan in Mumbai on December 1 and take in a morcha to the office of the RBI.
Omprakash Koyte, chairman, Maharashtra State Federation of Cooperative Credit Societies, said the business has come to a standstill for these societies after demonetisation. These societies are not allowed to accept specified bank notes (SBN) of R500 and R1000 from its account holders, and are being treated as individual account holders at public sector and commercial banks.
Emails sent to Patel have urged him to treat credit societies on par with as other financial institutions in the state.
Cooperative credit societies in Maharashtra have at least 2.15 crore members who have been impacted by the curbs imposed by the RBI, Koyte said. Maharashtra has around 15,670 cooperative credit societies with Rs 22,000 crore worth of deposits and Rs 16,000 crore worth of advances. Around Rs 9,000 crore is invested with various banks in the state, he said.
Now, these banks refuse to treat these societies as representatives of account holders, and instead, treat every society as an individual account holder. So, each of these societies is permitted to withdraw Rs 24,000 per week, the limit imposed on individual bank account holders.
Koyte said societies only want the RBI to allow loan installments to be paid via old notes, and this relaxations need not be accorded to depositors.