IDUKKI: Hindu Economic Forum on Thursday said it will set up a bank exclusively to cater to the needs of traders from the community. Scores of traders have been hit by the severe dearth of capital, M D Unnikrishnan, forum president told reporters at the Idukki Press Club at Thodupuzha. Faced by severe financial crunch, many traders from the community have been forced to pull out of the business sector, he said.
Asked about the possible polarisation of the traders following this move, he said that the suggestions in this regard was offered by traders from other communities.
Denying allegations, he said that the organisation had no link with the Sangh Parivar or any other political parties. But there are people affiliated with a number of parties supporting the outfit.The work with regard to setting up the bank is progressing and consultants have been appointed to take the work forward.The bank is likely to become functional in another three years. The delay is mainly because of the extensive and strict guidelines of the regulatory bodies, including the RBI.
However, a decision on accepting equity from shareholders belonging to other communities has not been taken yet. Presumably, accommodating people from other communities in the board of the bank wouldn’t be a problem, he said.
The inherent idea behind forming the forum was to help settle disputes which had led to the collapse of several businesses, he said. At present, the forum, which was formed three years ago, has around 2,000 members. There are 27 chapters in the state and elsewhere. The number would increase to 33 by November this year. It would become 100 by 2015 march, he said. By 2020, the forum would take its operation out of Kerala, to other parts of the country and overseas, he said. Unnikrishnan said unlike in other communities, the religious organisations are not doing anything tangible for the benefit of the trading community.