Apropos of the column “A manufactured revolt” by Union finance minister Arun Jaitley, I wish to draw his attention through your paper to the fact that the Padma Shri winning author he squarely hints at while deriding her decision to return her awards won the honour in 2004—in fact, she was awarded by the first NDA government. So, his point about her having conscience attack after 31 years of the 1984 anti-Sikh riots is just plain wrong. It also begs questioning in silent worry that when the prime minister said those bringing up the Dadri lynching were practising politics of polarisation, did he mean that protesting the killing of a Muslim citizen of India was not polarising, while protesting that killing was? The government needs to move fast on promoting tolerance or more such incidents are likley to happen in the future.
Dealing with bank fraud
Notwithstanding the existing multiple checks and strong vigilance systems, the banking industry is falling prey to big scandals and fraudsters, with the help of certain fraudulent employees and officials of banks, are eating away the stakeholders’ money. This points to the need for rapid and radical changes in the internal set-up, monitoring systems and procedures of all the banks. At a time when banks are weighed down by rising bad loans, and are struggling hard to improve margins, the occurrence of scandals of high magnitude are just like adding fuel to the fire, which finally leads to heavy financial loss. The alleged scandal, estimated at R6,100 crore, involving many public and new generation private sector banks, points to the utter failure of the controlling offices of banks in ensuring 100% compliance of KYC norms. Many frauds relating to lending and other transactions are on account of the lacklustre attitude and complacency of the authorities at various levels in developing a compliance culture among staff and officials of the bank. The casual observance on the activities of the officials and employees by the vigilance machinery is also contributing to scandals. Despite having a bitter experience of the many past scandals, the government and the banking industry are yet to implement fool-proof measures to prevent the occurrence of such scandals. Investors, domestic as well as foreign, are losing faith in banks and are stepping backwards not only on fresh investments, but also are taking back their existing investments. Apart from that, it will adversely affect the reputation and credibility of banking industry and will lead to drain of much-needed capital. The government must look for strengthening digitalisation, revamping the functioning of all PSU banks and must have tough measures against the authorities responsible for any scams. Simultaneously, care needs to be taken to avoid the transmission of fear psychosis among officials and employees, else it will pave the way for indecision and would negatively impact the business.
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