NEW DELHI: Demanding a thorough probe by the RBI into the alleged Rs 11,400-crore PNB fraud, the Congress today said the prime minister should assure the nation that accountability of the finance ministry, the Reserve Bank of India and the management of defaulting banks would be fixed within 60 days.
Senior Congress leader and former Union Minister Kapil Sibal sought to know why people like Nirav Modi, who were indulging in banking scam, were “allowed to escape the country”. “Country has faced a loss of around Rs 21,000 crore as of now and other banking frauds will also come out in a few days. Another Rs 390 crore OBC (Oriental Bank of Commerce) scam has also emerged.
“I am surprised that despite our prime minister being the most expensive ‘chawkidar’ (watchman), why are all these (banking frauds) happening under his nose,” Sibal told a press conference here, taking a swipe at Prime Minister Narendra Modi over his refrain during poll rallies that he would act as a watchman for the country.
He said that if question is raised on banking system, it impacts the country’s economy and affects investment as international trade is done through banking system. “Why is Modiji silent? Modi yesterday said that government will bring back those people who indulged in banking scams. Leave the issue of bringing these people back to country, we want to first know why these people were allowed to flee the country,” Sibal said.
Referring to the alleged 2G scam during the UPA government, he said, “It was 2G, but from now, we are going to call this (PNB scam) Nimoji.” “Until the prime minister gives assurance to this country, people will think that administration is supporting those who were indulging in banking fraud….We demand that there should be an RBI probe in the matter (PNB scam) at the earliest,” Sibal said.
At the press conference, the party made four demands to Prime Minister Narendra Modi. “The prime minister should assure the nation that swift communication system of all banks will be connected to their core banking system in 30 days. “Every swift message in the past five years will be checked by the banks to report if they are supported by Genuine Underlying Transactions to expose any other frauds that are as yet to be undetected. This should also be done within 30 days,” the Congress leader said.
He also said that the PM should also assure the country that the RBI will conduct a forensic audit of all swift communications and swift messages matching them with underlying transactions within 60 days and that report will be made public. “The prime minister should also assure that accountability of the finance ministry, RBI and management of defaulting banks would be fixed within 60 days,” he added.