Mumbai: Days after an FIR was lodged by the Anti-Corruption Bureau against state BJP vice president Chitra Wagh's husband Kishor Wagh, in connection with alleged disproportionate assets, the state government has ordered an audit of the Mumbai District Cooperative Bank (Mumbai Bank) for alleged irregularities. Incidentally, the chairman of the bank is Leader of the Opposition in the Maharashtra Legislative Council Pravin Darekar (BJP). Both Chitra and Darekar have been spearheading the attacks on the Shiv Sena-led Maha Vikas Aghadi government and its functioning.
The cooperation department, controlled by the Nationalist Congress Party, has issued a notification through its regional joint registrar for conducting an audit of the Mumbai Bank. The department has cited the administrative necessity for an audit as the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD), in its report for 2018-19, had made adverse remarks on shortcomings in its functioning. The NABARD had further accused the Mumbai Bank of gross financial mismanagement and also unearthed a few fraudulent transactions.
Further, the NABARD had pointed out that the Mumbai Bank had high operational risks because of a weak appraisal system, inadequate loan review and monitoring mechanism and inadequate recovery strategy. Its gross NPAs stood at Rs 169.40 crore in March 2017, which is 10 per cent of its total assets. However, its deposits rose to Rs 4,894.58 crore in March 2017, from Rs 4,504.64 crore in March 2016.
A cooperative department officer told The Free Press Journal, ‘‘ The audit will ascertain the present financial status of Mumbai Bank. During the audit, the expenses on updating computerisation, purchase of hardware and maintenance in the last five years will be examined, apart from the expenses on the renovation and repair of Mumbai Bank properties in last five years, as also the non-performing assets and dues of repayment of loans granted under the Corporate Loan Policy.’’ The officer said the auditor would also examine the loan granted by the Mumbai Bank for self redevelopment of the housing societies.
Further, the auditor will check loans granted by Mumbai Bank outside its area of operations and pending dues. ‘‘ More importantly, the auditor will examine the loan granted to cooperative societies, based on fake papers. It will also check the irregularities in loans granted against gold collateral in the last five years,’’ said the officer. He added that the auditors have been asked to submit their report in a month.