Finance Ministry seeks report from banks on illegal change of notes

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New Delhi, Jan 3 (PTI) Days after Prime Minister Narendra Modi warned those who indulged in malpractices during the 50-day demonetisation drive, the Finance Ministry has asked public sector banks to submit a report on the involvement of officials illegally changing currency notes.

Banks will give details of officials those who violated law or government and RBI direction during the demonetisation period, sources in the the Finance Ministry said.

Although vigilance proceeding against directors are carried out by the Finance Ministry, the department proceedings or criminal proceedings against officials are carried out by bank itself.

Some of the officials tried to subvert the system during the demonetisation.

For example, CBI registered case against a Bank of Baroda official in Kolkata for converting old currency in violation of rules.

Some officials of State Bank of India, State Bank of Bikaner and Jaipur and State Bank of Mysore along with other banks was also mentioned in one of the FIRs filed by investigative agency during the demonetisation period.

The Prime Minister in his address to the nation on the New Year eve had said, “Amid this herculean effort, some grave crimes by some officers in some banks have come to light. Some government officers have also committed serious offences, and tried to take advantage of the situation. They will not be spared.”

Meanwhile, senior bankers also feel that there could be RBI inspection also to check whether there were any lapses at branches on banks’ side.

During the demonetisation period, the Enforcement Directorate had done random check of select branches to check the money laundering activity.

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