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Govt asks PSU banks to scan all bad debts of above Rs 50 cr

NEW DELHI: The government on Tuesday asked state-run banks to fix operational gaps within 15 days and said lenders must check all bad loan accounts over Rs 50 crore for possible fraud. The latest directive has been sent by Rajeev Kumar, the secretary – department of financial services, after the over Rs 12,600-crore fraud in Punjab National Bank (PNB) triggered allegedly by fugitive jewellery czars Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi.
“15-day deadline for PSBs to take pre-emptive action and identify gaps, weaknesses to gear up for rising operation and tech risks; To learn from best practices and pinpoint strategies including tech solutions; clear accountability of senior functionaries,” Kumar said on micro-blogging site Twitter.

Managing directors of state-run banks have been directed to detect frauds and any wilful default in time and refer cases to the CBI. They have also been asked to involve other investigative agencies such as the Enforcement Directorate (ED) and Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) for any foreign exchange violations. It said that bank boards will assign “clear accountability” to senior functionaries for implementation and compliance of the best practices from the banking sector.

The banks have been asked to do “prompt fraud identification” and action within prescribed time limits. The chief vigilance officer (CVO) has been told to “vet compliants” and coordinate with the CBI for bad loans exceeding Rs 50 crore. Any reported fraud has to be for wilful default, according to the latest guidelines from the government.

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