The Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC) is not going to help the banking industry to the desired level in recovering bank loans. Many people talk about the Bhushan Steel case as a glaring example of the success of IBC. But one thing is that about Rs. 21,000 crore has not been recovered in this case. Again this money has to be made up with public money. How have assets of the corporate been increasing by leaps and bound, as have been pointed out by different studies, particularly in the crisis period of the economy, when banks are not getting back huge loans they had lent?
Privatization of banks is not a solution. On the other hand, we demand nationalization of certain private banks. For example, the ICICI bank alone has NPA of Rs. 45,000 crore. The NPAs of only five PSBs (SBI, BOI, PNB, BOB and IDBI) are more than the NPAs of ICICI bank. In 16 PSBs, the NPAs are less than that of ICICI bank. Still private banks talk of their efficiency. It has been a long demand to bring bank money recovery cases under the Indian Penal Code. To judge these matters in the civil code cannot solve the problem. The total willful default on loan has been estimated as Rs. 1,10,000 crore. How can all these be checked without strict measure?
We also do not think that the RBI has no such power to look after the working of the banks. It cannot deny its own responsibility. The recent decision to bring LIC to the rescue of the IDBI bank is nothing but a step to weaken one of the most efficient public sector units of the country.
— As told to BE's Kishore Kumar Biswas