Finance Ministry must've known about it: Congress lashes out at Arun Jaitley's comment on regulators

Hours after Finance Minister Arun Jaitley slammed regulators for failing to detect the Rs 11,400-crore fraud at Punjab National Bank for seven long years, Congress accused the Centre of being aware of all details. 

Finance Ministry must've known about it: Congress lashes out at Arun Jaitley's comment on regulators

NEW DELHI: Hours after Finance Minister Arun Jaitley slammed regulators for failing to detect the Rs 11,400-crore fraud at Punjab National Bank for seven long years, Congress accused the Centre of being aware of all details. 

“Why blame only regulator? What about the political system and the fact that Finance Ministry must've known about it,” said senior Congress leader Kapil Sibal. 

“What was nominee of the government doing in these banks? Issues need to be investigated, it is very glib for people to say regulators are responsible,” added Sibal.

Earlier today, Jaitley, in an interview, claimed that cases of bank frauds put the government's efforts to boost the economy to the backseat.

"Regulators have a very important function, they ultimately decide the rules of the game and they have to have a third eye which perpetually is open. Unfortunately, in the Indian system, we politicians are accountable but regulators are not," he said. 

"If you periodically have incidents like these, the entire effort of ease of doing business goes to background and these scars on the economy take the front seat," Jaitley said.

The CBI, on Saturday, booked another Delhi-based diamond jewellery house for alleged loan fraud to the tune of Rs 389.85 crore towards Oriental Bank of Commerce (OBC).

The agency reportedly sat on the information for six months, before taking action. 

Meawhile, the Enforcement Directorate (ED), which is probing the role of absconding diamond merchant Nirav Modi in the Rs 11,400-crore fraud at the Punjab National Bank, has now attached 21 properties worth over Rs 523 crore linked to him. 

Nirav Modi and his uncle Mehul Choksi have been under the scanner for their alleged role in PNB fraud.

Gitanjali Gems promoter Mehul Choksi wrote to his employees to look for other job options as he will no longer be able to pay them their salaries and other dues. 

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