In a strange development, the government-backed private sector IDBI Bank Ltd here has revealed three different figures of the alleged loans defaulted by a well-known diamantaire group, surprising banking and diamond industry circles.
Late on Monday, IDBI Bank Ltd, in a regulatory filing, clarified an article by IANS (20th December) that the diamantaire group had allegedly defaulted on loans worth around Rs6,710 crore.
The IDBI Bank Ltd further said that the company, Sanghavi Exports International Pvt Ltd, an NPA with the Bank, plus other group entities and its promoters/directors/guarantors, only has a current principal outstanding of Rs16.72 crore and the "account is fully provided" with action taken to recover the dues.
On Tuesday (21st December 21), the IDBI Bank Ltd issued a fresh public notice stating that the outstanding amount from the same Group is around Rs67.13 crore.
"The outstanding amount has been wrongly published on 19-12-2021. Notice of default with correct outstanding is published," said the new public notice on Tuesday, confounding the banking fraternity.
IDBI has revealed three contradictory figures of outstanding amounts in just 72 hours, 'raising questions over which is the real figure', said banking expert and All India Bank Officers Association leader Vishwas Utagi.
"This is outrageous... A big bank backed by the Centre and LIC cannot make such blunders, with the upcoming LIC IPO. They must clarify which of the three outstanding amounts' figure is genuine? If indeed any recoveries are made, they must publicly state when, how much, and into which account," Mr Utagi demanded.
Slamming the 'confusion' and differing statements, Shiv Sena's Bhartiya Kamgar Sena general secretary, Dr Raghunath Kuchik, accorded the minister of state (MoS) status, asked how—under such circumstances—the government can think of going ahead with the LIC IPO?
"For years, the LIC has been taking care of organised-unorganised labour. I urge the Centre not to put the common man's money, savings, and confidence into jeopardy till this issue of the IDBI Bank-diamantaire group is properly probed and resolved," said Dr Kuchik, who is the crucial Maharashtra minimum wages board chairman.
Interestingly, the public notices of 19th December and 21st December also clearly mention the outstanding foreign currency component—US$161088—which does not appear in the SEBI (Securities and Exchange Board of India) declaration made by IDBI Bank Ltd.
The bank's SEBI filing stated that 'the account is fully provided', while the two public notices have warned the masses against any kind of dealings with the properties of the promoters/directors/guarantors as huge dues are to be recovered from them.
Interestingly, IDBI Bank Ltd's spokesperson and its official communication agency did not respond to a questionnaire sent on 20th December by IANS.
One of the group members, Aagam Sanghavi—who is named by IDBI Bank Ltd in its public notices—also strongly denied the bank's figures of default (19th December public notice), and a woman purportedly belonging to the family declined to reveal her full identity, but contended that the amount in the public notice (19th December) was a 'typo' and warned of legal consequences.
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