The past month has been no less than a nightmare for the Indian banking system which is in an utter state of chaos and is presumed to have taken some of the biggest hits till date!
February, the month of frauds has left the bank officials gasping in dismay, as they witnessed an unprecedented loss amounting to $2.5 Billion wreaked by the jewellers Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi and Rotomac’s Vikram Kothari; entering the league of liquor baron Vijay Mallya, former IPL chief Lalit Modi and other businessmen such as Rishi Agarwal who allegedly committed frauds worth crores of rupees.
Given, how often these frauds are unravelling, it shouldn’t surprise the public when this is what Dawood Ibrahim has to say about the burning issue :
”Here I had to work my ass off to make thousands of Crores and these guys just apply for a loan and get it. What a waste of my life when I could have just walked into a bank and taken that amount in a loan. No bank officer would have dared to refuse me either. This is why education is important, educated people can get thousands of Crores in the blink of an eye while we have to threaten hundreds of people to get the same amount.”
Meanwhile, the two mainstream parties, Congress and BJP have their own way to deal with the status quo.
A series of attacks including slander, acquisitions and full blown assaults have been obviously launched.
The headlines being –
“Congress dubs PNB fraud accused Nirav Modi ‘Chhota Modi’, BJP calls the term ‘derogatory, demeaning, shameful, utterly irresponsible and scandalous’”
A follow-up headline :
“BJP slams Congress, says Nirav Modi ‘fraud’ began under UPA rule”
As a matter of fact, the first report of the Nirav Modi scam was obtained in 2011, at the time Congress was in power. The latest report came into light in 2017 during BJP’s regime.
Failure on the part of government can also be identified by the fact that a whistle-blower by the name of Hari Prasad, who was duped of 13 crores by Mehul Choksi’s company registered a complaint with the Bengaluru Police against Choksi and his group companies in 2015. A year later, he wrote to the Enforcement Directorate, the Central Bureau of Investigation, the Securities and Exchange Board of India, the Ministry of Corporate Affairs and even the Prime Minister’s Office.
No action was taken following this and instead, he received an e-mail from the Registrar of Companies (RoC) on July 18, 2016, stating that his grievance had been “disposed of”.
This indeed indicates grave inefficiency on the part of the authorities involved as they had an opportunity to identify and stop the fraud at the preliminary stages.
In a statement made by the All India Bank Officers’ Confederation (AIBOC), it has asked the government to stop blame game in bank frauds and instead make Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and the Ministry of Finance take responsibility for introducing new systems and for failure in bank supervision.
In the statement, DT Franco, General Secretary of AIBOC has raised very legitimate issues and asked questions pertaining to :
Why RBI, Finance Ministry, Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) and others wake up only when a major scam surfaces?
Why are we not analysing the failure of the system?
What is the role of the Government and its policies which cause system failures and scams?”
Why the RBI is still hesitant to publish list of defaulters and thus allowing them to run away from the country?
Why the Prime Minister takes with him the businessmen on foreign tours who are known for misuse of the system?
Why the same set of businessmen get contracts abroad?
There are many other questions that one needs to ponder upon including PNB’s internal information systems not being seamlessly linked to SWIFT.
The answer to these questions would certainly expose some deep rooted conspiracy and corruption at all levels of the administration that has always been a blot on the Indian economy’s development.
It’s high time that the primary focus is drawn towards this aspect given the fact that the stakes on this one are certainly very high.
P.S. – PNB received the award for being the ‘most vigilant’ organisation against corruption in 2017 by central Vigilance Commissioner. What an irony!
This article was written by Ruhul Amin (1st year)