New Delhi, Responding to an attack by the BJP which quoted former Reserve Bank of India Governor Raghuram Rajan as having told a Parliamentary panel that a large number of bad loans originated between 2006 and 2008 under the UPA, the Congress on Tuesday said that NPAs rose to more than Rs 9 lakh crore under the Modi government, which it said was responsible for the NPAs mess.
Talking to reporters here, AICC media incharge Randeep Surjewala, responding to the press conference by Union Minister Smriti Irani that cited Mr Rajan’s report to the Parliamentary panel to hold the previous UPA responsible for the mess, said, ‘the report by Mr Raghuram Rajan has been misread.
When the UPA left office, the NPAs were Rs 2 lakh, 83 thousand crore. This government informed in Parliament that NPAs have gone up to Rs 10.3 lakh crore till March 2018 and it is now at Rs 12 lakh crore. So, simple mathematics tells us that Rs 9.17 lakh crore of NPAs were in 52 months of Modi government.’
He said that while the UPA Government could be held accountable for the Rs 2.83 lakh crore NPAs, the Modi government was responsible for the Rs 9.17 lakh crore.
Mr Rajan told a parliamentary panel on Estimates in a note that over optimistic bankers and a slowdown in government decision making, which had popularly been dubbed as “policy paralysis” before the 2014 election were behind the mounting bad loan mess.
He further said in his note that “a variety of governance problems such as suspect allocation of coal mines coupled with the fear of investigation slowed down government decision-making in Delhi, both in the UPA and the subsequent NDA governments”.
Citing Mr Rajan’s statement to the Parliamentary panel, Ms Smriti Irani on Tuesday said “UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi led a government that attacked the very core of the Indian banking system”.
Mr Surjewala said that Mr Rajan in 2016 set up a fraud monitoring committee to monitor bank frauds . He also sent a list of names of fraudsters to the Prime Minister’s office, which included the names of Mehul Choksi and Nirav Modi.
‘In 2016, Rajan sent to the PMO a list of several people who had defrauded the banks. This included the names of Mehul Choksi and Nirav Modi.
However, the PMO did not take action on this list. We want to know why no action was taken on the list,’he asked.He also termed the press conference by Ms Irani as an attempt to regain lost political relevance.
‘Ms Smriti Irani has been in the shadows for long. She is just trying to regain lost political relevance,’ Mr Surjewala said.