PNB scam: White paper sought

The total NPAs of all public and private banks were worth Rs 8,36,782 crore till September 2017.

New Delhi: Stepping up his attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the PNB fraud involving jeweller Nirav Modi, Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Sunday said the Prime Minister’s silence on the issue was a sign of his guilt.

The Congress also alleged that “fraudsters” were linked to the “highest echelons” of the BJP-led NDA and demanded a white paper on the banking system.

Mr Gandhi wondered why finance minister Arun Jaitley had gone into a hiding and not spoken about the largest banking scam in the country.

“Modi tells kids how to pass exams for 2 hours, but won’t speak for 2 mins on the 22,000 crore banking scam. Mr Jaitley is in hiding. Stop behaving as if you’re guilty! Speak up #ModiRobsIndia,(sic)” Mr Gandhi wrote on Twitter.

Claiming that the linkages between alleged fraudsters and the highest echelons of the BJP raise some very serious questions about the health of the Indian economy, the Congress challenged the government to bring out a white paper on the banking system which it said had witnessed scams involving over Rs 61,000 crore in the last five years.

Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari said, “Bank frauds are tumbling out of the closet faster than you can say Jack Robinson.”

Referring to the Rs 11,400 crore scam in which billionaire jeweller Nirav Modi and his uncle Mehul Choksi allegedly acquired fraudulent letters of undertaking (LoUs) from PNB, Tewari said while the “Modi-Choksi tango” was still going on, reports have emerged about another banking fraud. Vikram Kothari, the owner of Rotomac pens, owes Rs 800 crore to a consortium of Indian banks and is now untraceable, he said.

The Congress demanded that BJP-led NDA should direct all banks to publish names of fraudsters and details related to NPAs (non-performing assets).

The total NPAs of all public and private banks were worth Rs 8,36,782 crore till September 2017.

“It is hilarious that PNB, where this scam happened, won the vigilant award for 2016-17,”

Blaming the current government for the banks’ NPAs, Mr Tewari said, “Information released by the RBI shows that Rs 61,260 crore banking frauds have taken place in the last five years, and out of these five years, the BJP-led NDA has been in power for four years.”

The Congress had on Thursday targeted Mr Modi for the presence of Nirav Modi in an Indian business delegation at the World Economic Forum in Davos.

Mr Gandhi had earlier alleged that Mr Modi and Mr Jaitley did not act despite being aware of the scam.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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