CBI has informed that as much as 38 persons have fled India after committing bank frauds in the five years to 2019.
Applications under the Fugitive Economic Offenders Act, 2018 were filed against 11 persons. (Bloomberg image)
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has informed that as much as 38 persons have fled India after committing bank frauds in the five years to 2019. Further, the Enforcement Directorate apprised that application for Red Corner Notices was filed against 20 persons under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002, and extradition requests were sent in respect of 14 persons to various countries. Also, applications under the Fugitive Economic Offenders Act, 2018 were filed against 11 persons, Anurag Thaur, MoS, Ministry of Finance, said in a reply to a question in Lok Sabha.
The government said that various policy measures have been taken for deterring, preventing, and taking effective action against business persons fraudulently obtaining loans and fleeing the country. These include the enactment of the Fugitive Economic Offenders Act, 2018, which provides for attachment of property of a fugitive economic offender, confiscation of his property, and disentitling him from defending any civil claim.
Further, the government has also advised PSU banks to obtain a certified copy of the passport of the promoters or directors and other authorised signatories of companies availing of loan facilities of more than Rs 50 crore. In an effort to arrest the incidents of bank frauds, the heads of state-lenders have been empowered to issue requests for the issue of Look-Out Circulars.
Meanwhile, the public sector banks are sitting on a pile of NPAs for the loans related to agriculture and allied activities; industry; and retail loans in the fields of education and housing. With the highest share of NPAs, State Bank of India has NPAs of Rs Rs 32,543 cr in agriculture and allied activities, Rs 74,922 crore in industry loans, and Rs 39,976 crore in retail loans, as on 31 March 2020, according to the Lok Sabha papers. Punjab National Bank (PNB), Allahabad Bank, and Central Bank of India follow SBI in terms of the highest share of non-performing assets.