Assam Apex Bank Controversy: Chief Minister Asserts Its Independence Amid Accusations

News Reporter News Reporter
Thursday, October 19, 2023
Assam Apex Bank Controversy: Chief Minister Asserts Its Independence Amid Accusations
CM Himanta Biswa Sarma Defends Assam Apex Bank's Autonomy Amid Accusations
Guwahati, Assam - October 19, 2023: In light of the ongoing controversy surrounding the Assam Apex Bank, Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma took the stage on October 19 to address the concerns and clarify that the financial institution maintains its independence from the state government. Sarma firmly emphasized that while the Assam government had, in the past, appointed a managing director to the bank, it is essential to recognize that the bank operates as a public institution, and it is not owned or operated by the government.

Sarma's declaration followed a series of allegations involving the Assam Apex Bank's role in disbursing a significant sum, exceeding Rs 20 crore, to businessman Rajesh Bajaj through Demand Bill Purchase (DBP).

The accusations gained momentum when Sivsagar MLA Akhil Gogoi, on October 18, pointed fingers directly at the Assam Apex Bank's managing director, Dambaru Saikia. Gogoi underscored, "Previously, Biswajit Phukan claimed that the branch manager was involved in the entire monetary transaction, but now we have found out that Northeast Plantation and Commercial Pvt Ltd sent a letter to the MD of the Assam Apex Bank on April 3, 2023, requesting Rs 15 crore via DBP, followed by Rs 20 crore. This highlights the MD's involvement in the entire scandal."

Gogoi's assertions were supported by extensive documentation, suggesting the bank MD's significant role in the DBP controversy. This new perspective challenges the initial notion that a branch manager could orchestrate such a large-scale financial transaction. The controversy surrounding the bank has raised critical questions about the institution's internal governance, oversight, and accountability.

Joining the chorus of concern, Congress leader Debabrata Saikia questioned the authority of the Apex Bank manager to disburse a substantial amount like Rs 20 crore without the proper approvals or checks in place. Saikia has called for a thorough investigation into the matter to ascertain the extent of responsibility and accountability within the Assam Apex Bank, ensuring that the controversy is resolved transparently.

The controversy surrounding the Assam Apex Bank is currently under the spotlight, with Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma's clarification regarding the institution's independence providing a key perspective on the ongoing issues.