‘Corruption in public sector banks down by 50 percent’

September 10th, 2008 - 10:43 pm ICT by IANS  

Mumbai, Sep 10 (IANS) Cases of corruption in Indian public sector banks have come down by 50 percent following steps taken to make systemic changes in the banks, according to the head of a parliamentary panel.The panel has also asked the banks to implement proper systems and procedures to contain cyber crimes, which would take place as a result of banks going for e-transactions in a big way, said E.M.S. Natchiappan, chairman of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Personnel, Public Grievances, Law and Justice, in Mumbai Wednesday evening.

His remarks came after a meeting with the top officials of Bank of India, Bank of Baroda, Bank of Maharashtra, Union Bank of India, Central Bank of India and Den Bank wherein issues related to the functioning of vigilance systems in banks were discussed.

Explaining the systemic changes introduced by the public sector banks, Natchiappan said the banks had introduced centrally managed bank loan system whereby decisions on giving advances were taken at the branch manager and regional manager levels.

The higher level of advances in this system must be cleared at the bank’s board level, he added.

Discussing another area of possible corruption, he said all decisions pertaining to non-performing assets (NPA) regarding the one-time settlement, time to be given to the other party and process of release of property are now taken by a group of officers and not a single officer.

This has led to a significant reduction in corruption, which concerned settlement of NPA related cases.

Natchiappan added that the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) was involved in training the local police force in handling cyber crime related issues, but did not elaborate on this.

The committee will now meet officials from the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC), CBI, the nodal agency for tackling cyber crimes, and officials from ministry of finance, department of personnel and training before finalising its report.

The report, which would emphasise on vigilance mechanism to tackle cyber crime in public sector banks, is expected to be submitted to the government by November, he said.

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