Free Press Journal

Guilty will not be spared, asserts Jr FinMin Shukla


Finance Ministry will implement PMO’s decision in this matter: MoS

Mumbai :Investigations in the Punjab National Bank (PNB) scam are on in full-swing, said Minister of State (MoS) for Finance Shiv Pratap Shukla. He said the finance secretaries are in talks with the Prime Minister’s office (PMO) on this matter. The finance ministry will implement the decision taken by PMO, he added.

Speaking to reporters after Assocham’s banking conference, Shukla said, “All our secretaries are in talks with the PMO. The finance ministry will implement the decision taken by PMO.”

On the latest media report of Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) summoning finance ministry official, he said, “I have no idea about the Central Vigilance Commission summoning the finance ministry officials. If it is the case, it must be there but I have no idea about.” According to media reports, CVC have summoned top officials of PNB and the finance ministry. They have been asked to appear before the CVC on February 19. As per media reports, on behalf of the Ministry of Finance, additional secretary, and department of financial services is likely to be present. He added that the investigation related to PNB is on. “We will not spare anyone who is responsible for this fraud. The Indian government will punish Nirav Modi for such fraudulent act.”

When asked about the diamond mogul being at Davos with Narendra Modi, he said that Nirav didn’t go to Davos with the PM. He clarified that it was a group photo and Nirav came there on his own.

On being quizzed if this case would work in the favour of bank merger (in negative or positive way), he said the merger of the bank has to be thought thoroughly.

NCP wants assurance that ordinary depositors won’t be affected

Mumbai: The Mumbai unit of the Nationalist Congress Party on Saturday staged a protest outside the Brady House branch of the Punjab National Bank in south Mumbai’s Horniman Circle area in connection with the Rs 11,400 crore scam that has rocked the bank. The protest, led by Mumbai NCP vice president Ashok Dhatrak, wanted an assurance from bank officials that the money of ordinary depositors was safe in the wake of the fraud.

The party’s state spokesperson Clyde Castro said that its functionaries were not allowed to meet bank officials, adding that the party shouted slogans against the bank as well as diamond businessman Nirav Modi who is at the centre of the scam. He said that Dhatrak, who led the protests, and five others who participated, had accounts with the Brady House branch of the PNB.

Cong attack on govt will boomerang: Javadekar

Mumbai: Union minister Prakash Javadekar on Saturday said the Congress’ attack on the government over the PNB scam would boomerang and alleged that the party had destroyed banking systems when it was in power. The  BJP leader claimed the Congress was frustrated as it had got no chance to level allegations of corruption during the NDA government’s current tenure.

The Congress has alleged that the scam took place in 2017 under the Modi government when letters of understanding were signed by Punjab National Bank in favour of the companies of Nirav and his partner Mehul Choksi.  “It doesn’t suit the party to cry foul over the fraud because it started in 2011 under the UPA’s nose. The fraud is a testimony that the UPA destroyed banking systems,” Javadekar said. The HRD Minister said that the Congress attack over the bank scam would boomerang. Javadekar claimed that the scam came to light because of the NDA government’s efforts to bring transparency in the banking sector.

Nirav Modi helped BJP in elections: Shiv Sena

Mumbai: Taunting ruling ally BJP, the Shiv Sena on Saturday said absconding scamster Nirav Modi “should be made Reserve Bank of India Governor to finish off the country”. Referring to the PNB fraud which came to light this week, the Sena said it is “clear that Nirav Modi and his family had fled” the country early last month.

“However, just recently (last week of January), this gentleman was seen and photographed with Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Davos (Switzerland),” the Sena said in stinging editorials in the party mouthpieces ‘Saamana’ and ‘Dopahar Ka Saamana’ on Saturday.

Nirav was a sympathizer of the BJP and played a leading role in collecting funds for it during the elections, it added. “However, we are not implying that he managed to loot the (PNB) bank with the blessings of BJP leaders or that a share of it (loot) even went to the party coffers. But, Nirav always strived for the BJP’s financial prosperity and helped it win elections with the mountains of cash he built,” the Sena said sarcastically.

That these monies belonged to the national exchequer which he blatantly plundered, has now been exposed by this scam, and lays hollow Prime Minister Modi’s famed slogan – “Na Khaunga, Na Khane Dunga”, the edit noted.

“We want to know how he managed to turn up with the group of industrialists who met PM in Davos when a complaint against him had already been lodged by PNB? Perhaps, if his Aadhaar Card had been linked to the bank accounts, this could have been clear,” the Sena said, in another jibe.