According to the bank employees union, action against liquor baron Mallya will definitely have a chain reaction and the state machinery will have to take similar steps against all wilful defaulters of banks
The Indian National Bank Employees' Federation (INBEF), banking wing of INTUC (Indian National Trade Union Congress), has demanded state machinery to take appropriate steps to prevent Vijay Mallya from leaving the country after creating a non-performing asset (NPA) of about Rs7,000 crore in nationalised banks and also recover the public fund from the assets created by him. Any action against the UB group chief will have a chain reaction, the bank employees' union says.
"We are of the firm opinion that the action on the liquor baron (Mallya) will definitely have a chained reaction in as much as the state machinery shall have to take similar steps in case of all wilful defaulters. Though the steps initiated by Enforcement Directorate (ED) and the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) are encouraging, lot more has to be done and swords are needed to be more sharpened against such defaulters before it is too late. Detailed investigation is also needed into why banks took so long for any action (against defaulters) and officials responsible for the delay, also should be booked," Subhash Sawant, General Secretary, of INBEF said in a statement.
He said, "It is also a welcome feature that other bank unions like the All India Bank Employees' Association (AIBEA) are demanding action against Mallya. However, it also raises a question as to why unions are a passive onlooker when INBEF was bleeding due to unwarranted attacks of the bank managements."
According to the statement, on 10 December 2014, INBEF had filed a public interest litigation (PIL) in Bombay High Court about rising NPAs in public sector banks. "However, other bank unions have not come forward and given any support in the Court matter," Sawant added.
He said, "We feel that till date the bank unions have the capacity to confront the conspiracy of unscrupulous borrowers and a section of corrupt bank officials combined and stop unabated looting of public money. We also need to ask as to what the workmen directors, representing unions, were doing on the bank boards, when such doubtful loans were being doled out.” It is a fact that bank unions have workmen directors on bank boards, but very few of them, if any, have raised their voice or recorded dissenting notes.
Last week, INBEF held a dharna at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi for several long pending demands as well as for introducing an agriculture loan restructuring policy for farmers. Prashant Bhushan, senior counsel at the Supreme Court, while congratulating INBEF for taking up the issue of the recovery of NPAs of banks, criticised functioning of the government, particularly, in the banking sector.
INBEF says it is on the path of agitation since long on the burning issue of NPAs, writing off of huge quantum of bad debts, one time settlement of mounting bad debts in a throw away price in the banking industry, which are paving the way to big corporates to enjoy the public funds at their whims and caprices.