Finance Minister Sitharaman Says Bad Loans Soared Under Raghuram Rajan


Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Tuesday pointed out that PSBs were reeling under bad loans during UPA rule & under former RBI governor Raghuram Rajan

Written By Navashree Nandini | Mumbai | Updated On:

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Tuesday pointed out that Public sector banks were reeling under bad loans during the UPA rule. Speaking at the Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs, she said that former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh- and former RBI governor Raghuram Rajan was collectively responsible for it. Calling it 'worst phase', the finance minister said that banks public sector banks faced worst at that time. She added that no one was aware of it then. 

READ: Nirmala Sitharaman seeks tax experts' inputs to correct GST flaws

"I have no reason to doubt that Rajan feels for every word of what he is saying. And I'm here today, giving him his due respect, but also placing the fact before you that Indian public sector banks did not have the worst phase than when the combination of Singh and Rajan, as Prime Minister and the Governor of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), had. At that time, none of us knew about it," the finance minister said. Bad loans of PSBs rose from Rs. 9,190 crore in 2011-2012 to Rs. 2.16 lakh crore in 2013-2014, according to the RBI. 

READ: Finance Minister: Over Rs. 81,700 cr disbursed during 9-day loan mela

Finance Minister seeks expert help in GST

Conceding that GST may have some flaws in its present form, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman asked tax professionals not to curse it and sought their help to make it better. The minister was replying to the concerns raised by taxation industry professionals, who said the industry was "cursing" the government over how the GST was implemented. Billed as the biggest reform in indirect taxation, the goods & services tax, which does away with a host of levies from the federal to the local government levels, was implemented on July 2017.

READ: IYC-NSUI stage protest outside FM Nirmala Sitharaman's house

Nirmala Sitharaman supports GST 

On several stakeholders "cursing" GST, Sitharaman even objected to a person who raised the question and asked him not to damn the law which was passed by Parliament and all the state assemblies. "After a long time, many parties in Parliament and in state assemblies worked together and came up with the Act. I know you are saying this based on your experiences but suddenly we cannot call 'what a goddamn structure it is'," the minister said.

(inputs from PTI)

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