Facing people’s outrage over the PNB scam, Modi government on Monday lashed out at the UPA government accusing the “so-called economist Prime Minister Manmohan Singh” for India’s erratic banking sector.
While addressing a press conference in Delhi, Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said, “Under the so-called economist Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, the entire banking system went haywire due to all kinds of interference with it.”
Prasad, who looks after the Law ministry, accused the previous UPA government of not allowing the correct data about the stressed asset into bank records.
“In 2008, the total advance to people given by the banks was Rs 18.06 lakh crores. By March ’14, the amount went up to Rs 52.15 lakh crore. The stressed asset identified out of this was only 36 per cent,” he said.
“Now the stressed asset has risen to 82 per cent out of that advances made in the UPA govt. This means for more than one occasions the correct data could not make it to the records,” the minister added.
Ravi Shankar’s remarks came in the backdrop of India’s biggest ever banking scam in which two Industrialist Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi defrauded state-owned Punjab National Bank to the tune of Rs 12,700 crore.
Congress party alleges that Nirav Modi was a part of the delegation that went with Prime Minister Modi to attend the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.
The party also claimed that PM Modi calls Mehul Choksi as “Mehul bhai” and he even attended a program held at Prime Minister’s official residence in 2015.
Hitting back at Congress’s claims, Prasad alleged, "On 16 May 2014, the day UPA government lost the general elections, Finance Minister P Chidambaram cleared 80:20 benefit to seven companies. One of them was Gitanjali (Mehul Choksi's company). Will Rahul Gandhi & P Chidambaram tell the nation if it wasn't blatant favouritism, mala fide intent and rampant corruption?"
"The Congress must answer who were those people who were lobbying on behalf of Gitanjali and related companies. And how much cut were they taking? Rahul Gandhi must answer after he returns from Italy," the minister said.