The high level of NPAs is due to combination of many factors and some of them are beyond the control of the banks.
The credit committee decisions are taken based on the current market environment and it is not always that they hold right under all conditions which are fast changing in this increasingly globalised environment. The proposals received are not always straight-jacketed. Depending on the circumstances persisting at the time and, more particularly, considering the sector specific business outlook some deviations may required to be considered in the interest of the bank to keep the businesses going. Such deviations cannot, therefore, be questioned with the benefit of hindsight.
The role and responsibility of public sector bankers can never be undermined at any point of time and they deserve to be treated well with dignity. There is a growing feeling now that the honest bank officials are being victimised and that is causing a great deal of heartburn and agony in the industry.
The probe by the investigation agency is to primarily ensure if there are any mala fide intentions involved and even while conducting the probe, it is necessary to ensure that there are no reputational risks caused to the bankers. This is important to repose trust in the system as banking is essentially all about risk and trust. The confidence in the public sector banks is at a historically low level now that is seriously bad for the system.
Srinivasan Umashankar Nagpur
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