Parliamentary panel summons RBI Governor Urjit Patel for questioning on May 17

Apr 17, 2018, 20:58 IST | Mid-day online desk

Standing Committee on Finance, headed by Congress leader M. Veerappa Moily took the decision to call Patel

Urjit PatelRBI Governor Urjit Patel/ File Pic

RBI Governor Urjit Patel has been summoned by a parliamentary panel on May 17 to answer some questions on banking frauds and the powers that the central bank needs for better regulation of public sector banks. Standing Committee on Finance, headed by Congress leader M. Veerappa Moily took the decision to call Patel.

"The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Governor has been invited to attend the meeting on May 17," a source said. Last month, Patel said the RBI's regulatory powers over PSBs were weaker than those over the private sector banks.

His remarks came in the wake of bank frauds including that of over Rs 13,500 crore at the Punjab National Bank (PNB). According to the sources, the parliamentary panel would ask the RBI Governor questions about the frauds and better regulation.

The panel members also made several queries about the banking sector to Financial Services Secretary Rajiv Kumar. Finance Ministry officials answered some queries and sought three weeks to file replies to the others.

Sources said Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India Chairman M.S. Sahoo was also present. The committee discussed banking frauds in both public and private sector banks. The PNB fraud was discussed with special reference to fugitive jeweler Nirav Modi.

Sources said members asked if middle-level officials were the only ones responsible for the PNB fraud and if it was a systemic failure. They said in the frauds surfacing in the banking sector, there were mistakes which were being repeated.

A member asked about the pace of corrective measures implemented in the wake of the frauds and what more needs to be done. The panel members also raised queries about the controversy over conflict of interest in the Rs 3,250 crore loan given by the ICICI Bank to the Videocon Group in 2012.

Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was among the panel members present. Another source said the panel discussed the situation in the banking sector and the way ahead with questions about the non-performing assets, Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code and auditing standards.

"It was more of a questioning meeting," the source said.

Also Read: RBI Committed To Easing Honest Citizens' Pain At The Earliest: Urjit Patel

Edited by mid-day online desk, with inputs from PTI

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