Stop privatisation of IDBI, Kejriwal urges Modi

New Delhi: Opposing the central government’s move to privatise Industrial Development Bank of India (IDBI), Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Saturday urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to stop the process and allow the banks to recover outstanding from big defaulters.

In his letter to Modi, Kejriwal said: “The reason being described to privatise the IDBI is that the government aims to earn money by selling its shares. If the bank is being sold with this intension, then it will be very wrong.

“I request you to stop the privatisation of IDBI and allow the banks to recover outstanding loans from big industrialist defaulter. Strict action should be taken against people like Vijay Mallya.”

His letter came after a delegation of IDBI Officers Association met Kejriwal on Friday and expressed their opposition to the government’s reported move to dilute its stake in the bank to less than 50 percent.

The delegation had told Kejriwal that union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said in his budget speech in the Lok Sabha on February 29 that the central government had no obligation to hold a minimum 51 percent stake in the IDBI, thereby effectively announcing the government intention to privatise it.

In the letter Kejriwal added that the IDBI was among the profit-making banks.

He said that according to the financial data of the bank, by December 2015 it had the operating profit before provisions and contingencies of Rs.1,117 crore.

“It’s completely unfair to sell profit-making banks. I’m being told that the government will earn about Rs. 2,000 to 3,000 crore by selling its share,” he wrote.

Attacking the BJP led-NDA government, Kejriwal said that it was very unfortunate that instead of recovering money from Mallya, the government let him go.

“When NDA government came to power people had expectation that you (Modi) will tighten the noose around big industrialists and recover bank loans from them. But NDA government permitted the people like Vijay Mallya to leave the country,” he said.

“Mallya have a bank debt of Rs.9,000 crore. There are several such big industrialists who have taken loan from the banks. The government not only stops the banks to recover money from them but also privatise the banks by selling its shares. After privatisation these banks would be handed over to corporates like Mallya,” he alleged.