New Delhi: The finance ministry on Saturday said passport details will be made mandatory for availing loans more than Rs50 crore from state run banks as it looks to tighten procedures following the detection of the Rs12,636 crore scam at Punjab National Bank.
This is to ensure quick response in cases of fraud, Rajiv Kumar, secretary, department of financial services wrote on micro blogging website Twitter.
The decision comes at a time the government is struggling to bring economic offenders like Vijay Mallya, Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi to book as they are refusing to come back to India and face legal proceedings in the country.
While Mallya has been classified as a wiful defaulter, Modi and Choksi are having charges of fraud and money laundering.
Group firms of Modi and Choksi allegedly colluded with officials of Punjab National Bank and borrowed money from overseas branches of other banks based on fraudulent letters of understanding issued by the bank officials.
The cabinet recently gave its nod to a bill that seeks to confiscate property both in India and overseas of such fugitive economic offenders irrespective of whether these properties have been used as collateral with banks or not.
Kumar said that loan application forms foe new loans will be modified to reflect this additional requirement.
Further, banks have been asked to seek passport details of all existing borrowers with loans of more than Rs50 crore in the next 45 days.
Last week, the government had announced a series of steps to prevent instances of fraud in state run banks. Banks were asked to tighten their systems and processes and review all non performing asset accounts of more than Rs50 crore to check for fraud. They were also asked to rationalize their overseas operations and shut down loss making units.