'Return to India...message is very clear': PM Modi to fugitive eco offenders
New Delhi/IBNS: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday said his government is mobilizing all channels including diplomatic to ensure that high-profile economic offenders have no choice but to return to India.
Speaking at a symposium on credit flow and economic growth, the Prime Minister urged the banks to support wealth and job creators by lending money proactively.
"In our attempt to bring back fugitive (economic offenders), we relied on policies and law and also used diplomatic channels. The message is very clear -- return to your country. We are continuing these efforts," he said, reported PTI.
High-profile economic offenders such as Vijay Mallya and Nirav Modi, wanted in connection with bank frauds and money laundering cases of lakhs of crores of rupees, managed to escape abroad.
Rs 5 lakh crore of the swindled money has been already recovered and the newly-set up National Asset Reconstruction Company (NARCL) will help recover Rs 2 lakh crore of the stressed asset, the Prime Minister said, according to the PTI report.
He said banks in India are in much better health as his government has since 2014 found ways to resolve the problems they were facing.
"Indian banks are strong enough to play a major role in imparting fresh energy to the country's economy, for giving a big push and making India self-reliant.
He iterated that the reforms introduced in the banking sector in the six-seven years supported the banks in every way, placing them in a far better position.
"We addressed the problem of NPAs, recapitalised banks and increased their strength. We brought reforms like Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC), reformed many laws and empowered Debt Recovery Tribunal," he said.
He asked the banks to offer "customised solutions" to businesses and micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs).
"Don't wait for customers to come to banks. You have to go to them," he said.
He assured the bankers that he will "stand by them like a wall" for every all decision taken in right earnest.
He nudged the banks to embrace a "big thinking and innovative approach", and warned them, saying "we will become laggards if we delay adopting Fintech."
Setting a target for banks, he said by August 15, 2022, every bank branch should have at least 100 customers who conduct their entire business transactions digitally.
"Banking sector has to understand this that in India it is time for investing in ideas. It is time to support startups. Startup is an idea, there is no asset, it is just an idea.
"Banks have sufficient liquidity and no backlog for provisioning of bad loans, while non-performing assets (NPAs) in public sector banks are at the lowest in the last five years. This has led to the upgrading of the outlook for the Indian banks by international agencies," he pointed out.
"Reforms in last six-seven years have led to the banking sector in a strong position today... We have addressed non-performing assets (NPAs) of banks, recapitalised banks, brought bankruptcy laws and strengthened debt recovery tribunal," Modi further said.
With the reforms, banks have a huge and strong capital base, good liquidity and no NPA backlog, he stated.
"You are the main stakeholder in nation-building... Banks can play a big role in boosting the economy and making India aatmanirbhar," the Prime Minister added.