Latching on to the recent Supreme Court judgment giving the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) a “last opportunity” to disclose the list of defaulters under the Right to Information Act (RTI), the Congress party on Sunday alleged that the government favors crony capitalists.
At a press conference here, the Congress spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi alleged connivance between the RBI and the government for not disclosing the list of 100 biggest loan defaulters.
“Many cooperative banks, especially in Gujarat, are not disclosing the list of defaulters. The government is favoring its crony capitalist friends. Why is the government not directing the RBI to disclose the information?” Singhvi asked.
The Congress was referring to the RBI’s November 2016 Disclosure Policy, which stonewalls the revelation of various kinds of information under the Right to Information Act, including the list of willful defaulters and annual inspection reports. The Supreme Court struck this down on Friday.
The Congress also said that the non-performing assets (NPAs or bad loans) of scheduled commercial banks have increased five-fold, from Rs 2.5 lakh crore to Rs 10.36 lakh crore, in four years between March 2014 to March 2018, especially of cooperative banks in Gujarat.
“The government should have taken action against these defaulters…the apex court has given the RBI last opportunity to release the information under RTI, otherwise it will treat it equivalent to contempt of court..seems the government is hiding information” added Singhvi.
The Congress said that state-owned banks have been the most vulnerable to serious violations under the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA), the Foreign Exchange Regulation Act (FERA) and the Money Laundering Act.