Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad on Monday said that the entire banking system in the country went haywire because of several interference when Manmohan Singh was the prime minister. Prasad said not a single loan given under the Narendra Modi government has become a non-performing asset.
“In 2008 [when the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance was in power], the total advance given by the banks was Rs 18.06 lakh crore,” Prasad told reporters at a press conference. “By March 2014, the amount went up to Rs 52.15 lakh crore. The stressed asset identified out of this amount was only 36%. Now, the stressed asset has risen to 82% out of that advances made in the previous United Progressive Alliance government. This means for more than one occasion the correct data could not make it to the records of the banks under their government.”
The Union minister also took on the UPA government’s 80:20 scheme introduced in August 2013, which allowed the traders to import gold only after they had exported 20% of the metal from their previous import. The rule was scrapped in November 2014 after the National Democratic Alliance came to power.
“On May 16, 2014, on the date of declaration of [Lok Sabha election] results, the then Finance Minister P Chidambaram had cleared the 80:20 benefit for seven companies, including Mehul Choksi’s Gitanjali jewels,” Prasad said. “Chidambaram and Rahul Gandhi must answer why was this passed on the day of results to benefit these seven private companies?”
Last week at the meeting of the Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee, the members discussed a report by the Comptroller and Auditor General in 2016 that reportedly pointed out that the scheme resulted in a loss of over Rs 1 lakh crore to the exchequer, PTI reported.
Businessmen Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi have been accused of cheating the Punjab National Bank of Rs 12,700 crore.