Fadnavis, Ajit Pawar clash over Karnataka Bank getting permission to operate Maha govt employees" accounts

  • | Thursday | 8th December, 2022

Mumbai, Dec 8 (PTI) The Maharashtra Government"s decision to allow Karnataka Bank Ltd to handle salaries and pensions of state employees led to a war of words between Finance Minister Devendra Fadnavis and NCP leader Ajit Pawar on Thursday.While Fadnavis claimed the decision was taken during Pawar"s tenure as finance minister, the latter denied it.The controversy has broken out at a time when tensions between Maharashtra and Karnataka are running high over the border dispute.Opposition parties criticised Chief Minister Eknath Shinde"s government for allowing a private bank like Karnataka Bank to handle the salaries and pensions of Maharashtra government"s employees.The state finance department on Wednesday issued an order ("Government Resolution") stating the state has entered into an agreement with and given permission to three private banks to handle and manage salaries and pensions of the state employees.Apart from Karnataka Bank Ltd, the state has permitted Jammu and Kashmir Bank Ltd and Utkarsh Small Finance Bank Ltd to handle these accounts.Defending the decision, deputy CM and finance minister Fadnavis claimed that the decision to rope in these banks was taken in December 2021."Who was in power at that time? How can they blame us? We should not treat a bank unfairly only because its name is Karnataka Bank," the BJP leader said.Ajit Pawar, who was finance minister in the previous Maha Vikas Aghadi government responded by stating that it was an "outright lie".“It is true that these private banks had approached us, but for technical reasons we rejected their proposal. How can Fadnavis spread such misinformation publicly?" the NCP leader said.He also alleged that the Karnataka Bank"s proposal was "cleared in just one day by Fadnavis." "Why is he so keen on helping the Karnataka Bank, when the same Karnataka state government, where it is headquartered, is causing unnecessary problems for Maharashtra,” he said. PTI ND KRK KRK

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