Free Press Journal

ICICI Bank chief Chanda Kochhar’s name dropped from FICCI event to be attended by President Kovind


New Delhi: ICICI Bank chief Chanda Kochhar’, who is the middle of a controversy for granting a loan to the Videocon Group, has been dropped from the invitees’ list of an event by industry chamber FICCI on April 5 which will be attended by President Ram Nath Kovind.

According to the industry chamber sources, Kochhar, MD and CEO of ICICI Bank, was to be the Guest of Honor at the event. But the invitation was withdrawn following the loan controversy. President Kovind will be the chief guest and deliver the key note address at the 34th Annual session of FICCI Ladies Organisation (FLO), the women business wing of the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI).

Earlier it was alleged that Kochhar had wrongly granted a loan to Videocon Group. But the bank stood by Kochhar, saying the allegation nepotism by the lender’s MD and CEO Kochhar were unfounded and malicious in nature.

“…the Board has come to the conclusion that there is no question of any quid pro quo/ nepotism/conflict of interest as is being alleged in various rumours. The Board has full confidence and reposes full faith in the Bank’s MD & CEO, Chanda Kochhar,” the bank said in a statement on March 28.

According to the lender, in 2012, a consortium of over 20 banks and financial institutions sanctioned facilities to the Videocon group (Videocon Industries Ltd and 12 of its subsidiaries/ associates as co-obligors) for a debt consolidation programme and for the group’s oil and gas capital expenditure programme aggregating approximately Rs 40,000 crore.

The private lender’s current exposure to the Videocon group was a part of this syndicated consortium arrangement. “ICICI Bank was not the lead bank for this consortium and the Bank only sanctioned its share of facilities aggregating approximately Rs 3,250 crore which was less than 10 per cent of the total consortium facility in April 2012,” it said.