PNB Fraud: Jaitley breaks silence, says India will chase down cheaters

PNB Fraud: Jaitley breaks silence, says India will chase down cheaters”

In a scathing attack against Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, senior Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP) leader Yashwant Sinha on Tuesday said that the Nirav Modi-PNB scam is a result of "systemic failure" and that the minister in charge "cannot be absolved of his constitutional responsibility for this scam".

Apparently blaming the bank management and auditors for failing to live up to their task, Jaitley said: "On the face of it, it seems they (bank officials and auditors) were". Therefore, it is incumbent on us, as the state, till the last legitimate capacity to chase these people to the last possible conclusion.

"The third important questions is; which is addressed to our friends in the profession". "What were the auditors doing? Both internal and external auditors really have looked the other way or failed to detect", he said adding that the profession of chartered accountants should start introspecting and take corrective steps. "We are not conspiring to help scamsters (sic) flee the country, but the BJP government is catching them instead".

Without naming any bank, Jaitley said that a bank's management is "expected to utilise its authority effectively and in a right manner". "And stray cases are nipped in the bud and an example be made of people that these... are never repeated", Jaitley told the 41st annual meeting of Association of Development Financial Institutions in Asia & Pacific.

He reminded the bankers about Prime Minister Narendra Modi's commitment after coming to power in 2014 that his government would not interfere with the autonomy of the banks and make no calls to bankers about any specific individual cases.

In its latest report on money frauds committed in Banks, the Reserve Bank of India has said that on an average, a fraud is committed in Banks once in four hours. "It has a direct cost and it has an indirect cost, which impinges upon the bank's capacity as a lending institution, and therefore it obviously impinges upon development finance", he said.

This ability over the past few years has faced challenges in increased bad debt or NPAs.

Also, he said, government is infusing an unprecedented Rs 2.11 lakh crore capital in the banks. Therefore, there is a moral hazard in the kind of solution.

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