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Bank insures farmers without their consent

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As reported by Vijay Sabharwal of TNN in timesofindia.indiatimes.com on 12 June 2008:

Bank insures farmers without their consent-Chandigarh-Cities-The Times of India


Bank insures farmers without their consent


KURUKSHETRA: A glaring case of misuse of power by the officers of Kurukshetra Central Cooperative Bank has come to light as under an alleged pact with some companies they got as many as 53,352 farmers jointly insured and debited the premium amounts from their accounts without their knowledge. The officers continued to buy and pay for these policies for four years and took out premium amounts worth about Rs 31.19 lakh from the farmers' accounts by recovering the money as loans.


In the year 2003, 1,754 farmers of Markanda cooperative society, Shahbad Markanda, and 738 farmers of Kaithal cooperative society were insured and premium amounts worth Rs 1.39 lakh were debited from their accounts. The farmers thought it was some government-sponsored scheme and did not object to it, which provided encouragement to the officers who introduced their self-styled 'welfare' scheme into various other cooperative societies during the next year.


These surprising facts came to light recently when a farmer-cum-social worker Gulab Singh sought information regarding this issue under Right to Information Act from Kurukshetra Central Cooperative Bank managing director.


According to the reply, officers of cooperative societies got 25,715 members of 24 farmers' cooperatives insured in the year 2004, for which premium amounts worth Rs 15.05 lakh were debited from farmers' accounts by adding those to the loan taken by them.


Similarly, in the year 2005, as many as 17,594 farmers, who were members of 16 cooperative societies, were insured by paying premiums worth Rs 10.24 lakh. In 2006, 7,551 members of Ajrawar, Thaski, Miranji, Rohti, Jakhwala, Ismailabad, Amin and Jyotisar cooperative societies were insured and premiums worth Rs 4.50 lakh were debited from their respective accounts.

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This issue should be taken up with Cooperative Commissioner of State Govt and Governor of RBI, Mumbai.

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