‘Review choice of Kamath as head of panel’

He was part of panel that gave loans to Videocon: Assn

August 10, 2020 10:42 pm | Updated 11:35 pm IST - Chennai

The All India Bank Employees’ Association (AIBEA) has opposed the RBI appointing K.V. Kamath as the chief of the expert committee on restructuring of loans impacted by COVID-19 as his name figures in a Central Bureau of Investigation’s (CBI) first information report (FIR).

The AIBEA alleged the former CEO and non-executive chairman of ICICI Bank was also a member of the panel that, along with Chanda Kochhar (former MD and CEO) approved loans to the Videocon Group. These loans are currently being investigated by the CBI.

“Hence, we strongly feel that, at this stage, making such a person as chairman of the expert committee is avoidable and needs to be reviewed,” wrote C.H. Venkatachalam, general secretary, AIBEA, in a letter to the RBI Governor.

Mr. Venkatachalam also recalled that during 1999, Mr. Kamath led a task force set up by Confederation of Indian Industry on non-performing loans of banks.

The task force had recommended the closure of Indian Bank and privatisation of banks such as SBI and the Bank of Baroda. “Today, Indian Bank is one of the best run banks and everyone knows the growth and progress of SBI and Bank of Baroda under the public sector,” he said.

The association questioned the committee and its recommendations as one of the members of the committee himself was a bank loan defaulter. AIBEA also released the name of the company in which the member was a director, according to the letter.

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