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PNB fraud overreaction may hugely hurt credit flow: Assocham

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  12 March 2018 12:00 AM GMT

New Delhi, March 11 : Overreaction by banks and investigative agencies to the Rs 12,600 crore fraud on state-run Punjab tiol Bank (PNB) which came to light last month could hurt essential credit disbursement to trade and industry, tempering growth expectations, industry association Assocham said on Sunday.

Supporting the calls from industry for privatising public sector banks (PSBs) in the wake of the PNB scam by accused diamantaire Nirav Modi and his uncle Mehul Choksi, Assocham said that some immediate steps should be taken for capacity building in PSBs.

“Following unearthing of the alleged scams and the media headlines, the banks are becoming cautious while there is a perceived public pressure on the regulators to act tough,” Assocham Secretary General D.S. Rawat said in a statement.

“So, it is time to show immense restraint and use the adverse situation as an opportunity to fix the systemic issues,” he added.

According to the industry chamber “all out efforts must be made by banks, regulators, government and India Inc to limit the collateral damage from the alleged fraud in PNB”.

“Given the technology disruption taking place and India’s ambitions to enhance digital footprints, it is all the more important to put in place robust systems which are well beyond compromise,” the statement added.

Pointing out that letters of credit (LOC) or letters of undertaking (LOU) allegedly misused by the diamond traders are legitimate instruments in global trade, Assocham said: “While we may seek long-term solutions like privatisation of the banks, the need of this hour is to rally around honest bank officers and the honest business entities which have built trust on each other.” (IANS)

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