Politics did play a major role in managing of all these cooperative banks. Herald asked the same question to Ramakant Khalap, senior Congress leader who had been the Chairman of Mapusa Urban Cooperative Bank for several years. He is at present the director of the Bank.
Why should politicians manage a bank?
Cooperatives are social organizations proposed and promoted by local people and who puts the locals together under one umbrella? It is the local leadership. It became in British era and it still continues as the local leadership understands the ground situation better. In fact some of the cooperative members became politicians at a later stage in their life. Mahatma Gandhi’s swaraj concept also promoted this method. These cooperatives are available in all sectors, not just banks but the base for these cooperatives is finance.
With moving times, we need professionals to manage a bank. Do you agree?
Exactly. We need professionals and the Act therefore has given a lot of power to the Managing Director as one is a professional. But then what about the private sector banks where certain families have promoted huge conglomerates. Isnt it? They have done it and over a period of time they have brought in the professionals and Cooperatives have done that too. If a person does something wrong, catch him. In Mapusa Urban we have 14 directors and I am the only politician and no one else is from politics. My leadership has helped the bank and we can take issues of common people to public platform.