The government will be introducing a bill to amend the Kerala Co-operative Societies Act on Feb 1 in order to finish the merger of 14 District Cooperative Banks (DCB) to form one of the state’s largest bank – Kerala Cooperative Bank – before the RBI-stipulated deadline of March 31.
Earlier, five dissenting UDF-controlled DCBs – Malappuram, Idukki, Kottayam, Wayanad and Kasargod – were unable to join the process as the Kerala Co-operative Societies Act mandated a 2/3rd majority from individual DCB general bodies for mergers and acquisitions.
“The government had brought out an ordinance amending the 2/3rd majority clause to a simple majority last month. The updated Act will enable all 13 DCBs to merge to form the Kerala Bank,” said Mini Thomas, Secretary, Co-operative Department. Malappuram DCB with its 80 primary agricultural societies (PAC) out of 129 that constitute the general body being controlled by the UDF-allies, will be the only one to be left out of the equation. The government had earlier indicated the DCBs opposed to the merger will have to transform into ‘Urban Co-operative Banks’ in the incoming two-tier structure of the co-operative banking system in the state.
The secretary said the process of integration of accounts and tenders inviting software solutions from technology firms will be initiated soon