During second leg of the budget session, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on 16th March, 2020, Monday raised the issue of bad loans in Parliament. Speaking on the floor of the lower house, Rahul sought information about the top defaulters and measures taken by the Center to recover loans advanced to defaulters.
He alleged that the government was hiding the names of defaulters. He further said that-“The Indian economy is going through a very bad phase. Action should be taken against those who looted the banks and the core reason of the unemployment is the stealing of money from our banks”. He further demanded that the government should reveal the names of the 50 largest wilful defaulters and alleged that Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that people who stole money from Indian banks will be caught and brought back. I asked PM the names of those 50 people and I did not get any answer.
In a reply Union Minister of State for Finance Anurag Thakur said- “A list of willful defaulters is available on the website. There is nothing to hide. All these people took money went away during their (Congress) government. The question posed by a senior member of the House shows his lack of understanding of the subject,”
In a written question, Gandhi had asked the names of willful defaulters and measures taken to recover loans advanced to them. Gandhi raised a question in Lok Sabha and accused the government of not replying to his question but Thakur hit back, saying the government will hide nothing and will now allow itself to be blamed for "sins" of others. Thakur further said that the Modi government has enforced the Fugitive Economic Offenders Act that allows agencies to confiscate properties and assets of economic offenders.
WHAT IS FUGITIVE ECONOMIC OFFENDER ACT, 2018?
The Fugitive Economic Offenders Bill, 2018 was passed by the Rajya Sabha on July 25. The Lok Sabha had cleared the measure on July 19. The new legislation will prevent big economic offenders from fleeing the country and evading the law.
This bill is an effective, expeditious and constitutional way to stop these offenders from running away. Legislative changes or a new law must be in place to confiscate assets of such absconders till they don't present themselves in front of the courts. We will also work out what has to be done with the confiscated assets. The Enforcement Directorate is the the investigative agency under the Act.