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Must debate bank frauds issue in Parliament: Naidu


New Delhi, Mar 15: Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu on Thursday said Parliament should function to debate on the larger issue of frauds, damage they cause to the country's image and doubts created over banking system. His comment comes at a time when the opposition and government are differing over contours of debate on the biggest bank fraud.

Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu

The Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha have witnessed repeated adjournments during the second half of the Budget session that began on March 5, with opposition parties stalling proceedings over issues, including Punjab National Bank (PNB) fraud. The opposition wants a debate on the issue under rules that would require voting on a resolution, the government is pressing for a short duration discussion without any voting.

Speaking at realtors' body CREDAI annual conclave, Naidu, who is also the presiding offer of Rajya Sabha, said he has agreed for a debate on the PNB fraud and other issues but "unfortunately" discussion is not happening.

"Irony is members (MPs) want discussion, government want discussion and chair wants discussion but discussion is not taking place," he said.

Both houses of Parliament were paralysed for the ninth consecutive day today with no business except for the legislations government pushed through in the din being transacted.

"Two three instances of Nirav Modi, (Mehul) Choksi and Vijay Mallya...but they are damaging the image of the country and they are damaging the image of the system. People are questioning entire banking system. Is there a structural failure, is there a collusion of people at different levels. If it is so, then why no action is taken," Naidu said.

He said there is no use in finding fault in whose regime the frauds took place.

"I hope that Parliament function and then there is a meaningful and constructive debate. Where does the fault lies," Naidu said.

"The issue is not this regime or that regime. The issue is of people losing confidence in the banking system. This is the larger issue. Who is accountable? What assurance they are giving to depositors. These are the larger issues that should be taken," Naidu said.

India's second largest lender Punjab National Bank has been hit by a fraud of about Rs 13,000 crore wherein billionaire jewellers Nirav Modi and his uncle Choksi allegedly used fraudulent letters of undertaking to obtain credit from overseas branches of Indian banks.

Naidu cautioned CREDAI not to allow black sheep and have a self code of conduct to keep defaulters and violators out of its organisation.

The law alone will not help in dealing with this disease as there are legal ways to fight cases for years together, he said, adding that the best way is voluntary code of conduct and whoever violates the norms, such black sheep and fly by night operators should be kept at distance. This will enhance CREDAI's credibility and acceptability, Naidu said. "This is the need of hour in real estate sector."


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