I would like to express appreciation for the state government led by Chief Minister Pema Khandu for constituting the Lokayukta in the state to root out corruption and provide a transparent government.
As an ordinary citizen, I would like to offer a suggestion to the government, which may be taken up in the forthcoming budget session of the assembly in the form of a bill or other business, if the chief minister finds it important.
The Arunachal Cooperative Apex Bank is the only state-owned bank, and it is the duty of a responsible government to think for its development. Though the sick bank was revived by former CM late Dorjee Khandu by initiating innovative measures by taking upfront money from power developers in the state, it is still grasping for uplift as the lone indigenous bank of the state is struggling to have a flourishing business.
In this regard, I would like to suggest to the chief minister to instruct all the government registered contractors of the state by passing an appropriate bill in the assembly to open their accounts in the Apex Bank instead of obtaining NOC from the bank while going for petty contract works.
I wish to draw the chief minister’s attention to the fact that in the process of obtaining NOC from the Apex Bank to draw bills or contract works, 95 percent of the innocent people are getting harassment to obtain the document, coming from far-flung areas of the state without availing any loan from the Apex Bank, but five percent of the total population who obtained loans from the bank are enjoying contract works even they get NOC as well.
The saddest part is that the contractors obtain loans from the Apex Bank but do their transactions from other nationalized or private banks, as a result of which the ratio of recovery of loans is very low, for which the bank suffers. Moreover, many contractors are not willing to repay their loans, for which the bank is passing through a crucial phase.
If the contractors have their accounts in the Apex bank, then the bank could recover the loans through auto debit system.
The government should make it mandatory that no contractors would be awarded contract works unless he/she has an account in the Apex Bank. In such circumstance, it would be a great relief for the bank to recover its loans and to do good business. If the bank shines, it could provide employment opportunities to the unemployed youths of the state who can even avail loans without observing lengthy formalities like in other banks.
I also have another suggestion regarding the bank. If it is possible on the part of the government, then kindly take steps to direct all the state government departments to deposit their employees’ salaries in the Apex Bank instead of other banks, which would help the bank to grow with the monthly revenue over hundred crore rupees it would collect from the salaries.
This will also help the government indirectly as it will not have to take loans from outside sources to revive the bank. Moreover, the farmers of the state will be immensely benefitted from the bank as they can avail loans with little formalities instead of running from pillar to post.
The government should pass a law that for appointment of administrator to look after the bank’s affairs, the candidate should be an IAS officer instead of local officer so that he/she can work for development of the bank, otherwise, like earlier instances, they would provide opportunity to their kith and kin to take loans, which would again jeopardize the financial position of the bank.
I hope the chief minister would kindly consider my appeal and will work to bring back the lost glory of the state-owned bank.
The Arunachal Pioneer,