NEW DELHI: Bharatiya Janata Party MP Udit Raj has charged that ICICI group companies are involved in embezzlement of Rs 1,000 crore from Central government schemes by enlisting bogus beneficiaries.
“In the Ministry of Textiles-sponsored Rajiv Gandhi Shilpi Swasthya Bima Yojna (RGSSBY), out of 30,000 odd artisans enrolled, 1,145 were ineligible and fictitious in Rajasthan in 2009-10. The discrepancies were found in West Bengal, Assam, Uttar Pradesh, Manipur and other states as well. Once caught and exposed, ICICI bank’s subsidiary ICICI Lombard refunded a small part of the loot,” Raj said during a press conference.
The BJP MP said that he had been raising the issue of “loot” by Chanda Kochchar-led ICICI at various levels since 2013.
“Insurance Regulatory Development Authority (IRDA), led by R K Nair, also ordered an inquiry into the matter and imposed a paltry sum of `10 lakh as fine on ICICI Lombard. Later on, Nair became a board member of ICICI Prudential. Currently, he’s a board member of the ICICI bank,” charged Raj.
The BJP MP also claimed that the CBI unit in Rajasthan, led by IPS officer Anish Prasad, had registered a preliminary inquiry against ICICI Lombard. But Prasad was transferred from Jaipur and the case was closed with the remark that the local police could handle the issue, added Raj.
The BJP MP shared a response from the former Union minister of state for finance, Santosh Gangwar, to his allegations of ICICI Lombard indulging in the embezzlement of funds from the weather-based crop insurance scheme. The government admitted that the insurer was at fault, Raj said, quoting from Gangwar’s response.
The Central Bureau of Investigation grilled Chanda Kochhar’s brother-in-law, Rajiv Kochhar, for the fifth consecutive day on Monday in connection with the preliminary enquiry lodged against his brother Deepak Kochhar and Videocon’s Venugopal Dhoot.