New Delhi:The government has asked all public sector banks (PSBs) to obtain a certified copy of the passport of the promoters or directors and other authorised signatories of companies seeking loans of Rs50 crore and above, Parliament was informed on Wednesday.
“With a view to enable banks to inform relevant authorities of passport details, if need arises, vide letter dated 6 March, 2018, the government has advised all public sector banks to obtain a certified copy of the passport of the promoters/directors and other authorised signatories of companies availing of loan facilities of Rs50 crore and above," minister of state for finance Shiv Pratap Shukla said in a written reply in the Rajya Sabha.
The minister said the government has also advised PSBs that in existing cases where loans are of Rs50 crore and above, banks may collect the passport details of the relevant authorised people.
In cases, where the concerned person does not have passport, a certificate in the form of declaration that he does not possess passport should suffice in lieu of passport details, he said.
The above measure assumes significance for cases where big and wilful defaulters of bank loans flee the country smelling action against them to repay their dues.
The recent revelation of fraud amounting over Rs13,000 crore at second largest public sector Punjab National Bank (PNB) is the trigger for the government to issue such an advisory to banks as Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi—the key persons to defraud the bank—fled the country before investigations were launched against them.
In a separate question on recapitalisation of banks, Shukla said the government has infused capital of Rs51,858 crore till the first half of the current financial year.
In October 2017, the government announced recapitalisation of PSBs to the tune of Rs2.11 trillion over the current and next financial year of which Rs1.53 trillion will come via government recapitalisation and the balance through capital raising by banks themselves from markets.
“As follow-up, the government has made budget provisions of Rs88,139 crore for the second half of 2017-18 and Rs65,000 crore for 2018-19, and Rs7,750.06 crore has been infused as capital in the second half of 2017-18 (till 23.3.2018) from the said budget provision for 2017-18," the minister said.