Tuesday , 19 February 2019

Goa State Co-operative Bank to take auditor to task for ‘D’ rating



Discord at Goa State Co-operative Bank (GSCB) appears to be increasing close on the heels of a stormy annual general meeting (AGM) held few days back.

On Wednesday, speaking to ‘The Navhind Times’, Prabhu Verlekar, chairman, administrative committee, said that a complaint would be lodged against auditor Venkatesh Shenoy for giving an adverse audit report with an intention to malign the bank and cast the management in the wrong light.

Alleging unethical behaviour by the auditor, Verlekar said that complaint against Shenoy will be for professional misconduct and for presenting a report that is “not in accordance with audit rules.”

The complaint will be lodged with the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI), which is the regulatory body for all company auditors, Verlekar informed.

An audit report submitted by the auditors at the last AGM on September 2 had given the cooperative bank ‘D’ rating which is the worst rating in auditor parlance.  Verlerkar pointed out that the term of the administrative committee was from September 25, 2017, for a period of six months during the previous financial year and therefore cannot be held responsible for issues arising out of the actions of the previous board of directors.

Verlekar said that “a ‘D’ rating was given despite improvement in the circumstances of the bank and considering that the auditor remained unchanged for three years during which period no adverse opinion was given.”

Verlerkar further said that the audit report fails to “completely disclose Rs 12 lakh remuneration to the auditor.”

The report also conveniently ignored improvements made in the working of the bank due to effective steps taken by the administrative committee, said Verlekar, adding that, the report raised issues without substantiating it with facts and figures.

The AGM of GSCB held on Sunday resolved not to extend the term of the administrative panel and decided that members should go in for election. Term of the administrative panel gets over on September 25, but the government had announced that it would be extended by six months to March 2019 and a further period.

The three-member administrative committee is headed by Verlekar together with chartered accountant Shailesh Usgaonkar and retired banker Mohan Ramdas.

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