In response to the ongoing controversy surrounding Assam Apex Bank, Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on October 19 clarified that the financial institution maintains its independence from the state government. Sarma made it clear that while the Assam government had appointed a managing director to the bank in the past, the bank is not owned or operated by the government stating that it operates as a public bank.He also said that if the bank needs any help to investigate the matter , the government is ready to do so.
Sarma's statement came in the wake of accusations regarding the bank's alleged role in disbursing over Rs 20 crore to businessman Rajesh Bajaj through Demand Bill Purchase (DBP). Speaking on the matter, Sivsagar MLA Akhil Gogoi, on October 18, pointed fingers at the Assam Apex Bank's managing director, Dambaru Saikia. Gogoi asserted, "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 further emphasized that extensive documentation corroborates the bank MD's role in the DBP scam, undermining the notion that a branch manager could orchestrate such a large-scale transaction. The controversy has raised concerns about the bank's internal governance and oversight.
Adding his voice to the growing concerns, Congress leader Debabrata Saikia questioned the authority of the Apex Bank manager to disburse Rs 20 crore without proper approval. Saikia demanded a thorough investigation into the matter to determine the extent of responsibility and accountability within the bank.
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