Financial Services secretary Rajiv Kumar tweeted: “Next step on clean and responsible banking. Passport details must for loans above Rs 50 crore. Step to ensure quick response in case of fraud.”
— Rajeev kumar (@rajeevkumr) March 10, 2018
The government’s move is in the light of the PNB scam where jeweller Nirav Modi and and his uncle Mehul Choksi of Gitanjali Gems fled the country after duping the public sector bank of about Rs 12,700 crore. They are believed to be refusing to cooperate with law enforcement agencies.
While all new borrowers of loans of Rs 50 crore and above will have to submit the passport details before they will be sanctioned loans, banks have been asked to collect passport details of all the existing borrowers above this limit within 45 days.
The new step is part of the new Fugitive Economic Offenders Bill approved by the Union Cabinet last week. The proposed law also aims to impound and sell assets of the economic offenders who flee the country in order to quickly recover the dues. The finance ministry has also asked all public sector banks to probe all NPA accounts above Rs 50 crore for possible frauds and accordingly report the same to the Enforcement Directorate.