Rahul Asks For 50 Top Bank Defaulters To Be Named

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Monday raised a question in Lok Sabha and accused the government of not replying to his question on top 50 wilful bank defaulters but Minister of State for Finance Anurag Thakur hit back, saying the government will hide nothing and will now allow itself to be blamed for “sins” of others.

He said Modi government has taken a series of steps to recover money from fugitive economic offenders and a list of wilful defaulters is available on the website.

Thakur said the question of member showed his lack of understanding on the subject. “They distributed money, we brought it back,” he said.

Asking a supplementary, Gandhi said the economy was passing through a difficult phase and there had been “hollowing out” of banks.

The Congress leader said he had asked about top 50 wilful defaulters but “the government had not given a reply”.

He said Prime Minister Narendra Modi had talked of bringing to book and bringing back all those who had looted public money but “answer had not been given” to his question.

As Thakur began to respond, Gandhi asked why Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharman, who was in the House, was not responding.

Speaker Om Birla said most replies during question hour by Ministers of State.

Thakur attacked the Congress-led UPA and said people know how defaults happened, why these happened. As Congress members protested, he said they should listen to the reply after having asked the question.

Thakur said that defaults in gross advances by banks had gone down during the rule of NDA government.

“It was 0.64 per cent of gross advances in 2010-14 but came down to 0.18 per cent in 2018-20 and 0.08 per cent in 2019-20,” he said.

Thakur said the government has taken a series of steps to improve the condition of banks including asset capital review and recapatilastion.

He said all those who had wilfully defaulted loans above Rs 25 lakh were available on the website.

“A list of wilful defaulters is available on the website. The government is not going to hide. It will not allow itself to be blamed for sins committed by others. All these people took the money and went away during their (Congress) rule,” he said.

Thakur said names of defaulters of over Rs one crore were also available.

“I am ready to give all the names and lay them on the table of the House,” he said.

Thakur alleged that, fugitive offenders had taken loans during the UPA government.

Thakur said large amounts of loans crores had been recovered and the government had brought Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, Fugitive Economic Offenders Bill and property of offenders had been seized.

He also referred to the sale of a painting of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi by Priyanka Gandhi Vadra to Yes Bank founder Rana Kapoor through cheque and said he was not making political allegations.

“We did not go there,” he said. (ANI)

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