December 6, 2023


Expect exquisite business

How politicians are pocketing sugar mills and their vast lands

The Maharashtra Point out Cooperative Bank Constrained (MSCB) is in the course of action of auctioning the Aurangabad-primarily based Gangapur Co-operative Sugar Mill. The mill in the drought-prone region of Marathwada has unsuccessful to repay a bank loan of ₹89.64 crore. The financial institution would like to lease out the mill for fifteen years to get well its dues and has attached it, per the provisions of Securitisation and Reconstruction of Economical Property and Enforcement of Safety Fascination Act, 2002.

The mill is mired in corruption controversies with administrators blaming just one an additional for siphoning out dollars and profits even though farmers, who hoped for greater potential customers, have been left substantial and dry.

“It’s not ‘co-operative’ but ‘corruptive’ sector now. You see what will transpire upcoming. The mill will go into private hands that will wave a magic wand and the decline-generating mill will turn into profitable. Of class, these ‘private hands’ will be of noticeable and invisible politicians” rues R K Nirmal a farmer.


The modus operandi

As just one immediately after an additional co-operative sugar mills get auctioned in Maharashtra, farmers odor a “conspiracy” to convert their units into a private organization to get the belongings, primarily sprawling land tracts value numerous crores. For the past number of years, the MSCB has been auctioning decline-generating sugar mills to get well loans, but numerous queries dangle about the auctioning course of action.

The MSCB is the apex co-operative financial institution in the Point out with deposits of ₹20,849 crore and a functioning capital of ₹33,454 crore. It controls all 31 District Central Co-operative Banking companies (DCCB). With ₹87,998 crore of deposits and a functioning capital of ₹1,10, 501 crore (as of March three, 2020), the DCCBs are the pivot of the State’s co-operative economic system.

A statutory inspection of the MSCB’s money situation as of March 31, 2010, by the Countrywide Bank for Agriculture and Rural Progress (NABARD) under Part 35(b) of the Banking Regulation Act, 1949, opened the Pandora’s Box.

“This report was the commencing of the unravelling of the rip-off on document usually in the community domain, but not on paper,” states agriculture pro Nishikant Bhalerao.

Subsequent the Nabard report, the RBI, in a Might four, 2011, get, directed that the board of the MSCB be outmoded, and appointed an administrator.

“The financial institution has been dominated by MLAs, MPs, and politicians of all parties. These men and women, who are administrators of the MSCB and DCCBs, are the identical men and women who have direct and indirect curiosity in sugar mills. Administrators of MSCB and DCCBs give loans to mills started by them or their family members. Significant corruption by administrators pushes the mills into money crisis and they default on loans. The MSCB then auctions the mills and the identical politicians purchase these mills in auction at throwaway selling prices,” activist Sampatrao Pawar, who has labored in the agricultural co-operative sector for about three decades, describes how the racket operates.

Probe of auctions

Indeed, each, the Nabard report and the Bombay Significant Court, in a 2019 verdict, have confirmed this modus operandi of the sugar barons. The co-operative banking institutions lengthen pre-seasonal and quick-term credit history, as unsecured loans, to sugar mills getting adverse internet value. “Prima facie, thus, the report of Nabard indicates that these administrators ended up getting full expertise regarding the transaction and in spite of that, both they sanctioned the bank loan to these types of units and/or offered out the attributes of these types of units at a throwaway cost, which resulted in a sizeable decline to the Bank,” the Bombay HC pointed out.

“There have been significant irregularities in auctioning of sugar mills. Auctioning of mills is just a futile training as it is pre-resolved who will bid and get the mill,” alleges social activist Anna Hazare, who has approached the Significant Court about MSCB and sugar mill corruption circumstances. Hazare has demanded that the Enforcement Directorate (ED) probe the auctioning of all sugar mills in Maharashtra.

Read part 2 of the sequence: Maharashtra co-operative fraud: How co-op sugar mills turn into private attributes

Aspect three of the sequence: Maharashtra co-operative fraud: Endgame for co-operative sugar factories?

This is the to start with of a three-part sequence