While Indians on the internet were obsessed with Priya Varrier’s wink, something shook the entire nation – a ₹11,000 crore scam involving Nirav Modi.
The diamond merchant fled away, having cheated public sector banks including Punjab National Bank, UCO Bank and State Bank of India (SBI). The PSU banks allege that Nirav Modi fraudulently acquired PNB guarantees and used them to obtain loans from overseas.
This is not the first time a businessman has fleeced public sector banks by obtaining loans through fraudulent means and then fled the country. Let’s not forget the Kingfisher king Vijay Mallya who fled away after cheating SBI.
When people from the middle class hear about these kinds of frauds involving public sector banks – such as Punjab National Bank and State Bank of India – they have mixed emotions. These are the same banks who crib about lack of funds to maintain their ATMs, fix their flawed servers and provide banking service. I myself have filed several complaints with SBI on the same but they are least bothered about it. AGM customer care forwards it to the branch – and after that, nothing happens.
Banks ask thousands of questions and carry out several checks before giving loans to a normal citizen to start a small or medium scale business, while easily giving out loans to people like Mallya and Modi.
It looks like PSU banks trust Modis and Mallyas more than farmers and normal citizens when it comes to giving out loans. Why is there such discrimination in giving out loans? There are RBI mandates against such discrimination and Article 19 of the Constitution also prohibits the same.
Private banks are grabbing every opportunity to use technology and trying to capture the market. Public sector banks seem to be least bothered about it. They are more interested in passing the buck among each other. They know that in case of trouble, there will be a bailout by the government.