The fall in GDP growth rate to 6.1 per cent in the January-March quarter, which some experts have blamed on demonetisation, reverberated in a meeting of a Parliamentary panel with bankers on the issue of demonetisation, digital economy and the banking sector.
The meeting saw many members, particularly from the Opposition, taking up the issue in the “we had forewarned” manner, sources said. The panel is examining the issue of demonetisation. Opposition members in the panel argued that it is a matter of concern that in the quarter immediately after demonetisation, India has lost the tag of the fastest growing economy to China with a GDP growth of 6.1 per cent.
Panel members also criticised public sector banks for burgeoning NPAs by asking “what is your responsibility and accountability”, a source said.
Underlying the big gap in the growth rate of NPAs in public sector banks and private banks, Dinesh Trivedi from Trinamool Congress asked “what is the accountability of those bankers, who lent big money to defaulters”. He further asked if loans are being given “under influence”. He also inquired about safeguards available from cyber attack on digital money transaction platforms. BJP’s Nishikant Dubey wanted to know if digital transactions can happen in rural areas where both electricity and internet are a rarity.
The meeting also witnessed bank representatives raising concerns on International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) saying if it was implemented banks could find it difficult to give credit.