Yes Bank crisis: Sitharaman blames stressed loans under UPA; Chidambaram hits back

Yes Bank crisis: Sitharaman blames stressed loans under UPA; Chidambaram hits back thumbnail
Union finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman (left) and senior Congress leader P Chidambaram (File photo)NEW DELHI: The ongoing Yes Bank crisis has triggered a war of words between Union finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman and senior Congress leader P Chidambaram. Addressing a press conference over the crisis, Sitharaman blamed loans given under the UPA regime to stressed…

Union finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman (left) and senior Congress leader P Chidambaram (File photo)NEW DELHI: The ongoing Yes Bank crisis has triggered a war of words between Union finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman and senior Congress leader P Chidambaram. Addressing a press conference over the crisis, Sitharaman blamed loans given under the UPA regime to stressed corporates for the financial troubles at the private lender. Sitharaman, while addressing the media, stated that Anil Ambani Group, Essel, IL&FS, DHFL and Vodafone were among the stressed corporates in which Yes Bank had exposure prior to 2014. Chidambaram was quick to respond to Sitharaman’s charges. The former Union finance minister took to Twitter to hit out at Sitharaman and wrote: “Listened to FM’s address to the media. It is obvious that the crisis has been in the making since 2017 and the government did practically nothing except ‘talk to the RBI’.” Listened to FM’s address to the media. It is obvious that the crisis has been in the making since 2017 and the gove… https://t.co/nFJL63j1Pg— P. Chidambaram (@PChidambaram_IN) 1583496354000Taking potshots at the UPA government, Sitharaman in her address cited that the United Western Bank collapsed in 2006 under the “self-appointed competent doctors.” The finance minister also mentioned that the RBI’s intense scrutiny on Yes Bank started in 2017 and the situation has been “closely monitoring”. Chidambaram, in another tweet, stated that Sitharaman blamed the UPA contrary to her own claim and wrote: “As expected, the FM has indirectly blamed the UPA for the near collapse of YES Bank contrary to her own claim that the crisis started in 2017.” In a series of tweets, the former finance minister Chidambaram asked why Yes Bank’s loan book was not acknowledged and questioned how the loan amount “miraculously jumped from Rs 55,633 crore in March 2014 to Rs 2,41,999 crore in March 2019.” Sitharaman said that since 2017, the RBI noticed governance issues and weak regulatory compliance at Yes Bank, besides wrong asset classification and risky credit decisions. On finding risky credit decisions, the RBI advised change in management, she added. These decisions were taken in the interest of the bank’s health, and a new chief executive (Ravneet Gill) was appointed in September 2018 and cleaning up of bank started, she said adding that investigative agencies too had found irregularities. To which Chidambaram retorted and tweeted: “FM was focused on what happened during the UPA. What happened was UPA did not allow any bank to reach a state of collapse. Under UPA, weak banks were merged with other banks well in time to avoid a crisis.” Earlier in the day, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi took a dig at the BJP-led government over the moratorium placed on Yes Bank, and alleged that Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his “ideas” had destroyed the country’s economy. “No Yes Bank. Modi and his ideas have destroyed India’s economy,” the former Congress president said in a tweet. No Yes Bank. Modi and his ideas have destroyed India’s economy. #NoBank— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) 1583476220000Meanwhile, shares of Yes Bank plunged 56.04 per cent to Rs 16.20 on the BSE index.
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