ALSO READRs 114-bn PNB scam: FinMin seeks RBI's view on lapses in banking system Nirav Modi team had a free run at PNB; CBI quizzes Firestar's Vipul Ambani PNB fraud case: ED searches Nirav Modi's residence, 11 other locations How PNB fraud will affect govt's ability to mobilise big money Bank vulnerabilities: PNB fraud exposes failure of systems and oversight
In “No systemic accountability” (February 17) T N Ninan makes an interest observation that public sector banks “don’t seem to know how to lend money and to whom”. Consider the facts: the Punjab National Bank scandal was discovered not by the bank’s audit or any other team but by the “indiscretion” of a staff member of Nirav Modi as reported in “How staff brought Nirav Modi down” (February 17). The deception game costing Rs 114 billion went on unabated for about seven years under the United Progressive Alliance and National Democratic Alliance regimes. If the fraud was the handiwork of a few lower level employees of the organisation, it reflects utter inefficiency as well as unawareness and complicity of the bank’s top management. In any such case, the axe should fall on the functionally involved board members of the bank, including its chairman and CEO. How come the scam continued for years under the rule of a Prime Minister who vowed “na khaoonga na khane doonga”? The case may not be different for Nirav Modi, just like how it was for Vijay Mallya, who managed to flee to the UK and has since then been avoiding arrest.
It is remarkable that despite losing Rs 2.65 trillion in a decade no head of institution has lost his job, leave alone face prosecution. Is it because the culture of nurturing nonperforming assets and scandalous deals in PSUs benefit the political bigwigs irrespective of the party to which they belong? Or is this sheer ignorance of bank officials? Or mere inefficiency?
Y G Chouksey, Pune