Narendra Modi warns of action against financial fraud

Modi says the government has been taking strict action against irregularities and that the loot of public money will not be tolerated

Published - February 24, 2018 12:53 am IST - New Delhi

In the net:  CBI officials escort Vikram Kothari, centre, owner of Rotomac Global, to a court in New Delhi on Friday.

In the net: CBI officials escort Vikram Kothari, centre, owner of Rotomac Global, to a court in New Delhi on Friday.

Breaking his silence over the ₹11,500-crore fraud at the country’s second-largest public sector bank, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday warned of stringent action against those involved in financial irregularities and said

Speaking at the Global Business Summit organised by a financial daily , Mr. Modi asked the managements of financial institutions and supervisory bodies to do their job diligently to check such frauds.

“I want to make it clear that this government has been taking strict action against financial irregularities and will continue to take strict action,” the Prime Minister said.

Calls on regulators

Without naming the alleged kingpin of the fraud or the Punjab National Bank, the Prime Minister said the managements of financial institutions, auditors and regulators should perform their duty earnestly.

“I want to make an appeal to those who have been entrusted with the job of framing rules and policies and maintaining ethics to do their job faithfully and diligently,” Mr. Modi said, adding this should specially be followed by those who have been given the responsibility of supervision and monitoring.

Mr. Modi lauded his government’s economic agenda which he said was “job-oriented” and aimed at bringing “people-centric growth.”

He also mentioned the announcements made in his government’s last full-year Budget, including pro-agriculture steps such as paying farmers a price that is 50% more than the cost of production. “Some economists are speculating about price rise [because of this decision]. These economists must also consider about our duty towards our annadata [referring to farmers],” he said. “I feel we should support every decision taken to increase farmer’s income.”

Industry should contribute to the decisions taken by the government, Mr Modi said. ‘Speed, scale, and sensitivity’ were needed for policies to reach people, he said. “In the past four years, the government has stressed job-centric, people-centric growth [and focussed on] an economy which gives poor financial inclusion and takes care of middle-class aspirations.”

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