New Delhi: In a no-holds-barred attack on Congress and its chief Rahul Gandhi, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday accused “one privileged family” of being responsible for the huge scam in bank loans through “phone banking” during the UPA regime and vowed to bring back every rupee that has been caught in NPAs.
He described NPAs as the biggest scam of UPA which it tried to bury by dishing out a figure of Rs 2.5 lakh crore as defaulting loans which was actually Rs 9 lakh crore.
Modi did not take either Rahul Gandhi’s name or anyone else in the Congress’ first family but he has been using the “naamdaar” (privileged) jibe at Rahul Gandhi and his family.
Launching the India Post Payments Bank (IPPB) at a function here, Modi said none of the loans that turned bad were given during the NDA regime. He said his government has identified 12 largest defaulters of pre-2104 period, who failed repay Rs 1.75 lakh crore and action to recover the amount is on.
The government has also identified another 27 defaulters of Rs 1 lakh crore NPAs and the government ws working on its recovery, he said adding that this was found during a review of defaults of above Rs 50 crore after he took charge.
The Prime Minister said earlier the banks used to chase such defaulters but today they were running to the banks to hand over the money as investigative and enforcement agencies were tightening the noose around them.
“Those who were feeling that the loan amount they have taken from banks with the help of ‘naamdaar family’, will remain always ‘incoming’ but now ‘outgoing’ has started from their accounts,” he said.
“Every rupee that has been forced into defaults will recovered and used for the development of the poor,” he said.
The Prime Minister said the ‘privileged’ family left a number of landmines in the economy through their indiscriminate lending by phone banking.
“If the government had made it public, it would have had a disastrous effect on economy. The NDA government meticulously brought the country out of this crisis,” he said.
The Prime Minister said that his government has taken a number of reform measures like the passage of Fugitive Economic Offenders Bill, which would enable seizure of the assets of defaulters even if they are not in the country, and adoption of a professional approach in the banking system.
He said a new measure that has been introduced in banking through which the passport details of those who take big loans were being collected so that they cannot flee the country after defaulting.
Apparently replying to Rahul Gandhi, who had claimed two days ago that the NPAs were only to the tune of Rs 2.5 lakh crore during UPA, Modi said the reality was to the contrary.
“The claim that it was Rs 2.5 lakh crore was a lie and fraud. In fact the real figure was Rs 9 lakh crore. At a time when huge scams were coming to the fore, they (Congress) were busy in suppressing their biggest scam,” he said.
He said the UPA government knew that some day the fraud would be unearthed. So they hatched a conspiracy and misled the country by hiding the real figures.
“Instead, when the loans were turning bad, the “privileged” put pressure on the banks to give further loans in the name of ‘restructuring’ which was another fraud. The banks knew that the money would not come but the officials continued to advance loans recklessly because they had the ‘blessings’ of the ‘naamdaars’, he said.
“After independence till 2008, the banks had advanced loans to the tune of Rs 18 lakh crore while in six years alone between 2008-14, it jumped up to Rs 52 lakh crore,” he said.