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Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman says banks and CBI to discuss fraud investigation framework

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Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman says banks and CBI to discuss fraud investigation framework

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Union finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Saturday said that CBI will have a detailed discussion and workshops with banks in the next few months at the senior and general manager levels.

Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman says banks and CBI to discuss fraud investigation framework
Union finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Saturday said that the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) will have a detailed discussion and workshops with banks in the next few months at the senior and general manager levels so that there will be no witch-hunt of bankers in the name of probing bad loans.
Speaking to journalists after meeting leaders of state-owned banks in New Delhi ahead of her union budget speech in February, Sitharaman said undue harassment from CBI, the Comptroller and Auditor General of India and Central Vigilance Commissioner is uncalled for.
The meeting, which was attended by CBI Director R.K. Shukla, also saw Sitharaman instructing public sector banks to clear pending vigilance cases against their officials for alleged malpractices.
The minister said that when a bank spots suspicious activity for amounts greater than Rs 3 crore, it has an internal committee which decides whether it should forward the case to the CBI.
Further, she said that notices sent to the banks by the CBI will have a Document Identification Number (DIN) to avoid any scope for unauthorised communication and consequent harassment, and instructed that lenders should not sit on cases which can be handled through departmental action.
Sitharaman said that she will hold meetings with the Enforcement Directorate, Directorate of Revenue Intelligence, Income Tax Department and Customs officials so that such concerns are addressed.
Earlier, public sector banks (PSB) have raised concerns over witch-hunting by the investigative agencies. Recently, former managing director of Maruti Udyog Jagdish Khattar, who was booked by CBI for alleged bank loan fraud of Rs 110 crore involving his venture Carnation Auto India Limited, has vehemently denied all charges and said that it was a bona fide business failure.
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