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Patkar seeks SIT probe into loans given to sugar factories

Medha Patkar

Mumbai: Social activist Medha Patkar today demanded a special investigation team to probe losses suffered by the Maharashtra State Cooperative Bank due to the loans given to sugar factories owned by political leaders.

Patkar also alleged a scam of Rs 10,000 crore in the sale or leasing out of non-performing cooperative sugar factories to private firms.

On the other hand, sugar factories owed Rs 800 crore to their workers, she said.

Addressing a press conference, Patkar pointed out that Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, while in the opposition, had aggressively highlighted corruption in the state cooperative sector.

“The onus is now on him to take forward the investigation in the MSCB scam where his predecessor Prithviraj Chavan had instituted inquiry,” Patkar said as she demanded an SIT and time-bound probe.

Chavan had set up a probe committee headed by Shivaji Pahinkar, registrar, cooperative institutions, to conduct inquiry against the directors of the bank.

Patkar alleged that as per the preliminary report, 24 cooperative sugar factories were given loans of Rs 225 crore in total when they did not fulfil the criteria.

MSCB board of directors, which is now dissolved, violated credit monitoring arrangement of NABARD from 2007 onwards and provided loans to cooperatives neglecting their net worth, which ultimately caused losses to the bank, she alleged.

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