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Opposition MLAs Digambar Kamat (Margao), Vijay Sardesai (Fatorda) and Rohan Khaunte (Porvorim) hammer the government on Goa State Co-operative Bank in the House on Thursday

Oppn alleges scam in Goa State Co-operative Bank

 

PANAJI: Alleging a scam in the tendering process pertaining to the accounts software of the Goa State Co-operative Bank Ltd, which could result in lack of security to banking transactions, the Opposition benches in the state legislative assembly on Thursday said that balance sheets could be wiped out, non-performing assets disappear and a breach could take place during the electronic transfer of money, just as the government assured to carry out a departmental inquiry into the same, through the registrar of co-operative societies.

The Opposition legislators however were not satisfied with the government assurance, and demanded a judicial inquiry into the alleged scam.

Replying to a related query during the question hour, Minister for Co-operation Mahadev Naik said the apex bank in the state co-operative sector is no more a multistate bank, and would soon come under the purview of the state government.

“And then, a departmental inquiry lasting a month would be carried out into these allegations, and if the government is not satisfied with the same, then decision about further inquiry would be taken,” he added.

Earlier, Independent MLA from Fatorda Vijay Sardesai said that an electronic data processing audit at the bank pointed out the unsafe status of all banking transactions due to the defect in the software, after which a data centre was set up.

“Furthermore, a tender had been floated for upgrading this defective software, which was subsequently awarded to IDSSPL for a price of Rs 99 lakh,” he added, maintaining that IDSSPL is actually Info Dynamic Software Systems Pvt Ltd, the agency responsible for the defective software.

Margao MLA Digambar Kamat brought to the notice of the House that even though the tender was priced at Rs 99 lakh, the government has given extra Rs 60 lakh to the winner of the tender, which is more than 50 per cent of the tender amount and hence in violation of  the Central Vigilance Commission  guidelines. He also inquired if the vendors contacted by the bank in connection with the particular tender were empanelled by the bank.

The  Fatorda MLA, on the other hand, alleged that these vendors were sent letters with different contents. Sardesai also mentioned that although the government claims reducing the tender amount from Rs 1.4 crore to Rs 99 lakh, through negotiations, the winner of the tender has been paid Rs 1.59 crore. “And then, there is also forgery in a quotation sent by a vendor under the name Soft Tech Computer Services, Ponda,” he stated, pointing out that the real owner of Soft Tech Computer Services has refused having sent any quotation to the Goa State Co-operative Bank Ltd.

Sardesai also maintained that the accumulated losses of the bank today stand at Rs 100 crore, with the apex bank of the verge of bankruptcy.

Participating in the discussion, Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar said the bank software was probably ill-equipped, with the bank needing its improved version, due to which the bank awarded the tender to the same agency, which was handling the software.

“As of now, I don’t see the need for judicial inquiry into the matter,” he maintained.

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