After struggling for almost three and a half years to bring the Mapusa Urban Co-operative Bank back on track following imposition of embargo by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), the entire board of directors (BoD) including chairman Gurudas Natekar unanimously resigned on Tuesday.
The copies of resignations have been handed over to general manager of the bank Shailendra Sawant, who will forward the same to the central registrar of co-operative societies, state registrar of co-operative societies, Reserve Bank of India and the Goa government for acceptance of the resignations on Wednesday.
In a major development on Tuesday, a board of directors meeting was convened at the head office of the bank wherein it was unanimously decided that all the directors should resign. The entire board of directors comprising 12 members – Gurudas Natekar, chairman; Pradnya Naik, vice chairman; Ramakant Khalap; Ashwin Khalap; Michael Carrasco; Tulio De Souza; Ramesh Pankar; Mangaldas Naik; Babuso Hadfadkar; Nirmala Khalap; Shambhu Bandekar and Vinesh Pikale, (co-opted director) accordingly tendered resignation.
Announcing the board’s decision, Natekar said, “Following restrictions of the RBI since the last three and half years and now again for another five months, it is difficult to survive. We were not allowed to perform any
functions, we cannot grant loans, so how will the bank survive? Hence, we have unanimously dissolved the board.”
“Ideally, the RBI should have guided us and helped us bring the bank back on track but it imposed an embargo. The RBI should have showed us the way to regain the health of the bank, it should have provided us with a solution,” opined Natekar and added that there was also a demand from shareholders and some bank staff, who, he said, felt that if the board resigned, the bank’s condition would improve.
“Initially, everyone including the bank staff was of the opinion that as the bank had filed a case against the RBI in High Court, the RBI was against the bank and that we should withdraw the case. But now, the same people are questioning us about the withdrawal of the case,” said Natekar. Interacting with media persons Natekar said, “As I had assured, we have spoken to RBI and they have relaxed conditions and now the bank employees will be able to withdraw their salary.”
It may be noted that a few days back, the board of directors of the bank had expressed their willingness to resign in the interest of the bank after the RBI recently imposed an embargo on the bank’s depositors not to withdraw more than one thousand rupees. Subsequently, even a group of shareholders of the bank had demanded that the board should step down.
Meanwhile, upset over the resignation of the entire board of directors, employees of the Mapusa Urban Co-operative Bank agitated during the meeting convened at the head office on Tuesday and gheraoed Natekar.
The employees blamed the board of directors for the present condition of the bank and opined that the BoD has left the employees of the bank in the lurch by tendering their resignation without considering the hardships faced by the employees and depositors.
The meeting of the bank’s employee union with the board of directors saw the presence of over 200 employees from branches across Goa. Soon after Natekar informed the employees about the BoD’s resignation, the employees got agitated and gheraoed Natekar demanding that the entire board, which was not present, should be summoned at the head office. However, Natekar expressed his helplessness.