New Delhi: The Home Ministry might have a poor tag in tackling terrorism and internal security threat, but it is tom-toming as a bank is operational under its jurisdiction for the last 43 years, though violating rules and regulations.
   
When Dainik Jagran dug up the moot point—it is viable to run a bank by the Home Ministry which is loaded with many burning issues, the Home Ministry appeared to be at a loss for words.

The Repatriates Co-operative Finance and Development Bank Limited (REPCO Bank Ltd) was commenced in the year 1969 by the Government of India in order to rehabilitate the immigrants from Burma and Sri Lanka.

But REPCO started working to the effect of a commercial bank since 1988. The Home Ministry is not supposed to be engaged with a banking work, but REPCO has unstintingly received money from the Ministry.

Having extensive network in southern part of the country, REPCO Bank has 74 branches in Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh and Puducherry. It has business turn over of more than Rs 5000 crore. More so, it has made the Home Ministry earn profit of Rs 1.94 crore in 2009-10.

Asked about the REPCO bank, the Ministry in its written statement said that REPCO is a co-operative society and not a commercial bank, so Banking Regulation Act cannot be implemented on it.

However, the Ministry accepted that REPCO in 1988 began to function as profit generating bank. It can be gauged from the fact that in 2008-09 where the share capital was only 2.41 crore, which zoomed to Rs 76.32 crore in current fiscal year.

Besides, considering the spike in earnings from the bank, the Non-Plan Expenditure Committee of Home Ministry in 2009 approved the capital investment of Rs 74.36 crore on the bank. The last installment of the amount will be allocated by the end of the year.

However, it was the investigation carried out by Dainik Jagran that Home Minsitry indicated to bring REPCO Bank under Banking Regulation Act soon.

(Anshuman Tiwari/JPN)