Cong, BJP engage in slugfest over Rajan's NPA remarks
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New Delhi, Sep 11 (PTI) The Congress and the BJP Tuesday engaged in a slugfest over former RBI governor Raghuram Rajan's remarks on rising NPAs as both the parties defended the economic policies of their governments.
While the opposition party alleged that the increase in non-performing assets (NPAs) was due to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's "wink a loan" policy, the BJP claimed that Rajan's remarks were a "loud proclamation" of the corruption done by the Congress.
In a note to Chairman of the Estimates Committee Murli Manohar Joshi, Rajan said over optimistic bankers, slowdown in government decision-making process and moderation in economic growth mainly contributed to the mounting bad loans.
The BJP was quick to react to the former RBI governor's remark with Union minister Smriti Irani saying that Rajan's statement clearly proves that the Congress is responsible for the increase in the non-performing assets.
"UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi led a government that attacked the very core of the Indian banking system. Raghuram Rajan has said that between 2006-08, the UPA functioning led to increased NPAs in the Indian banking structure," she said.
Irani termed Rajan's report a "loud proclamation" of the corruption done by the Congress.
In the note, Rajan also said a variety of governance problems such as the "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."
Hitting out at the NDA government, Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala alleged that the prime minister has devised a new formula called "wink a loan scam" under which banks grant loan to "his crony capitalist friends" and thus, the rise in NPAs.
On Irani's statement, the Congress leader claimed that she was in the shadow for a very long time and by abusing the Congress she is trying to seek lost political relevance.
He claimed that when the UPA demitted office, the NPAs stood at Rs 2,83,000 crore, which was controllable, but during the NDA rule, the NPAs have touched over Rs 10 lakh crore.
"Rajan has said (in his report) there were only Rs 2,83,000 crore on 26.05.2014. How much are the bad loans today? In Parliament, up to March 2018, in a reply, the government has said they have gone up from Rs 2,83,000 crore to Rs 10,30,000 and today, they have reached Rs 12 lakh crore. "Rs 9,17,000 crore are the bad loans - NPAs - in 52 months of the Modi government. Who is responsible?" Surjewala asked.
"Naturally the failure of Modi-nomics and Jaitley-nomics has decimated India's economy, the banking system and people's faith in the economy," he alleged.
Quoting Rajan's report, Surjewala said the former RBI governor had also sent a list of all such people who could escape the country to the Prime Minister's Office (PMO).
The list included the names of diamond merchants Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi, but the PMO did not act and "this proves the complicity of prime minister's office", the Congress leader alleged.
"This Rs 9,17,000 crore of NPA is a result of all the loaning as also the decimation of the economy on the account of the faltering economic policy and I think whether or not that that issue was a figment of his imagination but 'wink a loan' was definitely true for Modi Ji," he said. PTI SKC
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