Fadnavis, Ajit Pawar Clash Over Karnataka Bank Getting Permission to Operate Maha Govt Employees’ Accounts

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 that the decision was taken during Pawar’s tenure as finance minister, the latter denied it.

This dispute has come to the fore at a time when the tension between Maharashtra and Karnataka is running at its peak over the border dispute.

Opposition parties criticized Chief Minister Eknath Shinde’s government for allowing a private bank like Karnataka Bank to handle the salaries and pensions of Maharashtra government employees.

The state’s finance department issued an order (“Government Resolution”) on Wednesday, stating that the state has entered into an agreement with three private banks to handle and manage the salaries and pensions of state employees and allowed given.

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 link these banks was taken in December 2021.

“Who was in power at that time? How can they blame us? We should not treat any bank unfairly just because its name is Karnataka Bank.”

Ajit Pawar, who was finance minister in the previous Maha Vikas Aghadi government, responded by saying that it was a “complete lie”.

“It is true that these private banks had approached us, but we rejected their proposal due to technical reasons. How can Fadnavis spread such misinformation in public?” the NCP leader said.

He also alleged that the Karnataka Bank proposal was “cleared by Fadnavis in just one day”. ” They said.

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