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RS MPs call attention to denial of credit cards, car loans

Written by: Staff

New Delhi, Aug 24 (UNI) Rajya Sabha members today pleaded for the cause of their political brethren during a discussion on the banking system were they expressed indignation over the denial by "foreign banks" of credit cards and car loans to themselves.

Intervening during the Banking Companies (Acquisition and Transfer of Undertakings) and Financial Institution Laws (Amendment) Bill, Mr SS Ahluwalia (BJP) first raised the matter as an aside to the main discussion on the banking system, by highlighting that credit cards were being denied by foreign banks to politicians.

Several BJP members including Dr Murli Manohar Joshi and Mr Ravi Shankar Prasad, drew the House's attention to the fact that standing instructions had been given to deny credit cards and car loans to politicians and demanded that action be taken to redress this untenable situation.

Samajwadi Party member Amar Singh, joining them, said that two years ago when he had approached the ABN-Amro bank for a car loan, he was met with refusal due to his being a politician.

Mr Prasad asked Finance Minister P Chidambaram, who was present in the House, to look into the matter where people's representatives, lawyers and police were being denied credit cards or loans.

Dr Joshi, who was on his feet, demanded to know whether in that case foreign banks having such "hidden instructions" should be allowed to operate in the country and what signal was being sent to the nation.

This denial of privilege to MPs was not a party matter, he said.

Samajwadi Party member Virendra Bhatia said though he had received the privileged customer status from private sector ICICI Bank, he still did not qualify for a car loan once it was found that besides being an MP he also was a lawyer.

To this, Dr Joshi shouted "shame, shame". Foreign banks, he said, were making money in the country while treating MPs with contempt.

Mr Bhatia concluded saying that he not only refused the bank's car loan but also closed his account there.


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