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PNB fraud case: How could government let  Nirav Modi, Mehul Choksi to leave India, asks Congress

The party asked why the government was silent on the issue and why did the agencies permit him and Mehul Choksi and others to leave India.

Published: 16th February 2018 08:20 PM  |   Last Updated: 16th February 2018 10:58 PM   |  A+A-

AICC spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala (FIle | PTI)

By IANS

NEW DELHI: The Congress on Friday continued its belligerent attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi and claimed that the PNB fraud of over Rs 11,000 crore was India's biggest "bank loot scam" and has got bigger to touch Rs 21,306 crore.

The party asked why the government was silent on the issue and how did it and the agencies permit billionaire diamond merchant Nirav Modi, his uncle Mehul Choksi and others to leave India.

"Punjab National Bank has already admitted exposure of Rs 11,400 crore in the 293 'Letters of Undertaking' (LoUs).

"In addition, exposure of 30 banks in loans extended to four companies -- Firestar International Private Limited, Firestar Diamond Fze, Gitanjali Gems Limited and Gitanjali Exports Corporation -- is Rs 9.906 crore," Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala told mediapersons.

"Thus, total exposure comes to Rs 21,306 crore."

PNB fraud case: Income Tax Department attaches 29 properties, 105 bank accounts of Nirav Modi firms, family

The leader also said: "In addition to this, PNB stock has depreciated eroding Rs 7,000 crore in value. Incidentally, government owns 57 per cent shares in PNB and the remaining is owned by financial institutions/common investors. If you add the erosion of value, total exposure comes to Rs 28,306 crore."

"The exposure of banks to three more companies -- Diamonds RUS, Solar Exports and Stellar Diamonds -- is yet to be disclosed by the banks and Modi government.

"Experts estimate this exposure to be in the range of Rs 3,000/Rs 5,000 crore. This will further enhance the total figure of the scam," he added.

Taking a dig at the government's scheme, he said: "No wonder, 'UDAAN' is the buzzword of Modi government, wherein every scamster can fleece and fly - unchecked and undetected."

The Congress asked what is the total loss to the banks and posed more questions. 

"Did the Prime Minister, PMO, ED, Corporate Affairs Ministry, SFIO, SEBI and governments of Maharashtra and Gujarat have prior knowledge of the scam as early as on May 7, 2015? Why did they not take action?

"Does Prime Minister know accused Mehul Choksi? If yes, why is Modi government denying it? Did the PMO, PIB and MEA not tweet the picture of Business Delegation comprising of Nirav Modi with Prime Minister?

"How did the entire fraud escape the four stage audit system of banks? Why did the banks not get alerted despite the withdrawal of ratings by rating agency CARE?" Surjewala asked.

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