Rajya Sabha

July 18, 2018

SS Roy speaks on The State Bank (Repeal and Amendment) Bill, 2017

SS Roy speaks on The State Bank (Repeal and Amendment) Bill, 2017

Sir, first of all I would like to thank the Government that this Bill is not introduced as a Money Bill. Sir, all of us know that five subsidiary banks have merged with the State Bank on the 22th February 2017. When this Bill was introduced in the other House, in the statements of objectives and reasons, it was stated that for the purpose of rationalisation of resources, reduction of cost, better profitability, lower cost of funds, getting better rate of interest for public, improving productivity and customer service — these are the reasons why the Central Government decided on the merger. The Bill was passed by the Lok Sabha and now it is before us to consider .

My first question in regards to this Bill is that how far have the objectives of the Bill been achieved in the meantime, because 16 to 17 months have lapsed. And how the interest rates for public has been enhanced after the merger of these five subsidiary banks with the SBI. I want a reply from the honourable minister.

Secondly Sir, as Mr Jairam Ramesh has mentioned, the background of the nationalisation and the new scenario of de-nationalisation that is coming up and talks are going on in the Government that there will be merger of more PSU banks out of the 21 total. I would like to cite one example with your kind permission Sir. The news item which has been published in Indian Express today it says that the Life Insurance Corporation has written to IDBI to acquire 51% controlling stake as a promoter. Now apparently there shouldn’t be any kind of objection to this. But everybody knows that, like many other banks, IDBI was a bidding ground for this scamsters. And now if a bank like IDBI is embraced by the LIC which is a Central Government organisation, the policyholders’ money will be at stake if 51% of equity or share of the IDBI bank is taken over by the LIC because we know the fate.

All along, we are demanding that the way there is mounting NPA – more than Rs 10 lakh crore of NPAs – we are demanding time and again that the willful defaulters, who otherwise should be treated as economic offenders, why their names have not been published? Why action under criminal law are not being taken against them? Government so far has not given any reply, not to speak of any satisfactory reply. Therefore, this way if Government adopts this merger, one after another by merging so many PSU Banks, in detriment to the interest of the depositors and in detriment to the policy owners, if the insurance companies come to the rescue of the defaulting Banks or the Banks which are having large amount of NPAs, then it will have a severe impact on our economy. It is creating severe impact, it will further create severe impact.

Therefore, Sir, while I have nothing to say on this particular Repealing and Amendment Bill because already gazette notification has been published, Lok Sabha has passed and we are here just merely to approve that because the buffaloes are not before the cart, here the cart is before the buffaloes, because Parliament was not taken into consideration before taking the decision, decision was taken by the executive, gazette notification was published, then it was brought to Lok Sabha, now it is before the Rajya Sabha.

So, we are almost in helpless situation, the only thing we can do is we can criticize. But am not on that of blaming them, I am asking the Government to have a serious thought on this. If this process continues Sir, there will be a danger to our economy. Nowhere in this world this is a solution that the Government has adopted. This cannot be a solution. There should be threadbare discussions, several Standing Committees of Parliament have given so many recommendations on this, that how to come out of this situation, created over the years, not that after this Government has come this situation has cropped up, no. This is a perennial problem and therefore whichever party is in the Government, there should be a serious thought over this issue, the recommendations of the Standing Committees should be taken into consideration and larger public view should be adopted to checkmate the situation.

Therefore Sir, this is my humble submission through you to the Government. The Government should take serious note in its entirety, not in a piecemeal manner and don’t do this to help those who have looted, who have plundered the public money from the Banks. Ultimately they will go scot free, they will flee from the country, some of them have already fled and more people will flee and take shelter in tax havens or other countries where we have no treaty for their deportation.

Therefore, I would ask the Government to think over the issue in its entirety and not in a piecemeal manner.

Thank You Sir.