The Congress on Friday hit back at Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman for her comments that the genesis of the problems facing Yes Bank started during the UPA rule.
Senior Congress leader P Chidambaram tweeted data on Yes Bank’s loan book having increased from Rs 55,633 crore in 2014-15 to Rs 241,499 crore in 2019-20. He asked how was it that Yes Bank’s loan book grew by 35 per cent during the last five years when overall bank credit increased by only about 10 per cent.
Congress spokesperson Pawan Khera said bank frauds have increased during the Narendra Modi government’s tenure. He said bank frauds were to the tune of Rs 18,699 crore in 2015-16, Rs 23,933 crore in 2016-17, Rs 41,167 crore in 2017-18, Rs 71,500 crore in 2018-19 and Rs 143,068 crore in 2019-(March) 2020.
Khera said it was pointless to ask questions to the FM on the economic mess facing the country. He said not only was she “clueless”, but the entire cabinet and the prime minister were “clueless” on economic issues. “We are told the PM does not tolerate efficient people around him. He feels insecure of talent,” Khera said, adding there were “countless examples” of the PM getting rid of talent.
Khera said the Manmohan Singh-led UPA government not just kept the Indian economy secure from the shocks of the global financial crisis of 2008, but the economy had done well, while the Modi government has caused the economic mess with its decisions, including demonetization.
“The difference between a doctor and a quack is the difference between 10 years of Manmohan Singh and six years of Narendra Modi,” Khera said. He said a report by Credit Suisse has stated that the Modi government has waived corporate loans worth Rs 7.77 lakh crore in the last six years.
The Congress said the problems with Yes Bank was yet another instance of failures of financial institutions during the last six years, including that of the PMC Bank. He said the government saved IL&FS by forcing the LIC and public sector banks (PSBs) to invest in it.
Similarly, ONGC was forced to cough up Rs 7,700 crore to save the Gujarat State Petroleum Corporation and LIC was made to pick 51 per cent of IDBI Bank’s shares.
“The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) nominee was appointed on the Yes Bank’s board in May 2019 after misreporting of NPAs. What was the nominee doing until now? Why didn’t the nominee get a sense of the crisis? Didn’t the government hear the warning bells when there was a sudden surge in sale of Yes Bank shares?” Khera asked.
The Congress spokesperson said the government had “enough time to come up with a solution and announce the solution”, but didn’t do that and has now resorted to knee jerk solutions.