Friday, June 25, 2021
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Great Indian bank robbery by ‘the jewel thief’

So…‘the jewel thief’, Nirav Modi, has also managed to leave India. So much for his extravagant, lavish style, public display! Obviously anticipating arrest and being lodged in the jail, he has managed to leave India. I would squarely blame our banks for the huge default and the loot by Nirav Modi and other “scamsters” too.

His cheat and loot is no less than a criminal. He was so thick skinned and did not even have a heart (and if he had one, it was impure!), to take care of his few employees/ex-employees and creditors and banks too! He cared a hoot for them, leaving them in the lurch — despite having huge amounts of assets and cash and himself leading still a lavish lifestyle — travelling across the globe in the name of promotions and exhibitions. He had a top cine actor as brand ambassador for his company and brands!

Yet another “scamster” Mehul Choksi too ditched his banks,  employees and others and absconded.

These Nimo, Choksi episodes are strong lessons, if we have still not learnt from the Vijay Mallya case! How come these banks kept on lending money and credit facilities — though by lending huge amounts of loans for years? At no point of time did they check the records and wanted to put a stop and say enough is enough? Why did not they encash the bank guarantees (or did they have any?) and take possession of the mortgaged properties?

How come such amounts to the tune of Rs 12000 crores were extended and not kept track of by the bank concerned, its top management, their auditors, the vigilance and above all Reserve Bank of India? Total irresponsibility by each and every stakeholder?

Was there any system to track payments and recoveries of such “mammoth” cases? Or how these systems and tracking were “Made to” derail perhaps by deliberate means?

Banks should now take stock of not just Sahara, KFA, Nimo, Choksi, Kothari, but they should go after each and every company — whether conglomerate, large, or medium, or small companies — indulging in regular default of loans and misuse of credit facilities. There are still some companies in the Indian corporate world which not only default in such payments to banks, but also do not pay statutory dues like sales/services taxes, Provident Fund payments, IT and TDS payments etc. Apart from these, even these small companies take their employees/ex-employees for granted and take them for a long ride by unduly delaying their dues or even depriving them of their legitimate dues.

So, what next in the cases of Nirav Modi and Choksi, besides, of course, Vijay Mallya? Will the government ever succeed in bringing the culprits back to India and lodge them in jails?

Looking at the crores of crores being swindled, misappropriated and looted not only by the likes of Mallya, Nirav, Choksi, Kothari et al but also crores of loan amounts owed by topmost companies and above all involvement of the officials of several banks and the cavalier, irresponsible approach of the so-called watchdogs like the management, auditors, vigilance, investigation agencies and above all RBI too…..
I strongly feel RBI and banks should stop fleecing the ordinary account holders, ‘Aam Aadmi customers’, poor farmers, senior citizens etc.
Banks must withdraw and stop charging all those ridiculous charges, like the one for “not maintaining the minimum balance” and so on.
Banks should have no right to harass and fleece the ordinary, needy and genuine account holders .

Let them be more careful, honest, dedicated and disciplined. Go after the sharks and whales who have cheated and swindled the banks of crores of crores, instead of wanting to mop up revenue/profit of a few hundred crores through many ludicrous and absurd charges which in fact have put a heavy burden on genuine and poor account holders.

Will the PM and FM ask RBI and banks to withdraw those stupid and absurd charges? Or should there be a petition or protests or campaign from the people?

(The views expressed by the author in the article are his/her own.)

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