AIBEA bemused at FM statement on loan recovery

Neyyatinkara incident raises vital questions on politicising issues

KOCHI: The All India Bank Employees Association (AIBEA) has appealed to the Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan to look into the whole episode of the suicide of a mother and her daughter in her teens, and the uncalled-for statement made by certain politicians including the finance minister Dr Thomas Isaac precipitating a bad scene in Neyyattinkara recently.

A chaos was triggered in Neyyattinkara on May 14 by the death of the mother-daughter duo by setting themselves ablaze, and their sad ending was initially blamed on the Canara Bank branch there allegedly for pressuring the deceased’s family for settling a delinquent house loan.

But the incident took a dramatic turn after a suicide note found from the venue reportedly revealing that the death had nothing to do with the bank loan, and this turned the needle of suspicion to the deceased’s (mother) husband and her in-laws.

But what took the banking circles in the state and outside by surprise was the statement made by Dr Thomas Isaac, the state finance minister, where he emphatically said that the house property cannot be attached by banks for recovery of overdue loans.

“This is neither lawful nor helpful to the banks that have given such loans only on the strength of the value of the house property mortgaged to the banks. This statement needs to be retracted, as otherwise, banks will find it difficult to sanction loans against house property,” said CH Venkitachalam, general secretary, All India Bank Employees Association (AIBEA) in Kochi on Saturday.

The incident has raised vital questions about the propriety of ill-advised public announcements made by political leaders including ministers on such occasions.

A long-drawn family issue involving the departed mother and her husband’s family has pushed the duo to the bizarre ending. But the politicians gathered there didn’t waste time to point their accusing finger at Canara Bank and the (lady) branch manager for the deaths that shook Neyyattinkara.

Addressing a press conference in Kochi on Saturday, CD Josson, AIBEA state general secretary, decried such political statements that only help stoke a volatile situation rather than work towards easing the tension.

“Don’t think that we as a responsible employees’ union is against the thousands of hapless people in the country. Whatever said, the loans are to be recovered as the deposits are to be returned and that is how the bank functions,” he added.

He acknowledged that there are various issues that need urgent attention and rectification in the banking industry as a whole. “We are also there with the people to fight against the anti-people issues facing the banking,” Josson added.

Venkitachalam resented the attack trained against the bank employees without knowing or verifying the facts.

“Already there are attempts by the Government to privatise and hand over the public sector banks to corporates. Such unwarranted attacks on public sector banks will only help add strength to the moves of the government towards privatisation of banks,” Venkitachalam reminded.


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