Nabard, primarily conceived to act as a catalyst for rural development, celebrated its 30th Foundation day in Mumbai on Thursday without any participation from the cooperative banks.
It invited almost all the commercial banks but chose to sideline the cooperative banks that happen to be one of its main subjects. Only exception was the Maharashtra State Cooperative Bank but it chose not to send any representative.
Interestingly, the speakers including the Governor of Reserve Bank of India dwelt mostly on the subject of cooperatives exposing Nabard’s pettiness in the matter.
In an ideal situation Nabard and the cooperative banks should have been partners in the endeavour of developing agricultural India.
NAFSCOB, the apex federation of the cooperative banks was also ignored.
When Indian Cooperative contacted Nafscob Managing Director Dr Bhima Subranmaniyam to know his reaction he was quick to add “may be our writing frequent letters to PM and the President is not liked by Nabard”.
The story of hostilities between Nabard and Nafscob dates back to five years ago.
Nabard is not the only organization that keeps the cooperative institutions and their leaders at arm’s length. Only recently was IFFCO’s booking of Vigyan Bhawan overruled by the Environment Ministry even though the former had booked it well in advance.
Such slights have become commonplace and unless a self-less and dynamic cooperative leadership appears on the horizon the Babus would keep rubbing the cooperatives the wrong way. What an appalling commentary on a country of 25 crore cooperators!