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Oppn questions infra bank accountability, Sitharaman says Parliament will check

Sitharaman assured that NaBFID is not free of oversight. Its audited reports, she said, will be submitted in both Houses of Parliament and the bank will have to share whatever information the government demands.

By: Express News Service | New Delhi |
March 26, 2021 3:11:14 am
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman. (File)

Seeking to assuage concerns over accountability raised by members of the Opposition, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman Thursday told Rajya Sabha that Parliament will exercise oversight over the proposed National Bank for Financing Infrastructure and Development (NaBFID).

The NaBFID Bill, which was passed by Rajya Sabha Thursday, aims to support development of long-term non-recourse infrastructure financing in India, including development of the bonds and derivatives markets necessary for infrastructure financing and to carry on the business of financing infrastructure.

Opposition MPs, led by Congress leader Jairam Ramesh, flagged NaBFID’s lack of accountability to the CBI, CVC, and CAG during the discussion on the Bill. Ramesh sought to know why the institution was exempt from the purview of the three institutions. “My question to FM (Finance Minister) is…this is a government company. Huge resources are put in use… so why is there no oversight mechanism? It will not even come under the ambit of CAG.”

RJD’s Manoj Jha, AAP’s Narain Dass Gupta and Prakash Banda of TRS, among others, said the Bill should be sent to a select committee.

Sitharaman assured that NaBFID is not free of oversight. Its audited reports, she said, will be submitted in both Houses of Parliament and the bank will have to share whatever information the government demands. “This is not beyond oversight, every year Parliament will get the report and the government can ask for reports whenever they want,” she said.

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