Letters: Monitoring PSBs

With reference to the editorial, "Lax legal system allows defaulters like Mallya to get away" (March 10), it's unbelievable that Vijay Mallya has left the country despite a lookout notice issued against him by the Central Bureau of Investigation. It's even harder to believe that he is a member of Parliament.

The entire episode is proof that crony capitalism has grown deep roots in the country and that banks drag their feet when big names are involved. These banks have suddenly woken up from their slumber and are shedding crocodile tears now. But they had virtually co-opted Mallya, the proud owner of the erstwhile Kingfisher Airlines, during his heyday.

There are enough reasons to suspect that the top brass of these banks were hand in glove with the tycoon and his dirty tricks. No wonder the Supreme Court has taken these banks to task and posed several "inconvenient" questions to them. Despite a plethora of laws and powerful institutions - the Securitisation and Reconstruction of Financial Assets and Enforcement of Security Interest Act, the Debts Recovery Tribunal and asset reconstruction companies - the non-performing assets (NPA) of these banks have swelled by Rs 1 lakh crore in FY16. A Banking Boards Bureau to be headed by former Comptroller and Auditor General Vinod Rai is being constituted to advise public sector banks (PSB).

Perhaps, the answer to the problem lies in setting up special courts with sufficient autonomous powers. Also, the merger and consolidation of PSBs might minimise the collateral damage to the Indian financial system.

S Kumar New Delhi

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