New Delhi, Feb 7: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday said that the Congress-led UPA was fully responsible for the NPAs of banks and that the country would never forgive the party for its “sin”.
Replying to the debate on the Motion of Thanks to the President’s address in the Lok Sabha, Modi said that the total lending of banks was Rs 18 lakh crore in 2008 and it grew to Rs 52 lakh crore in 2014 due to indiscriminate lending during the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) regime.
“Today the rise in NPAs (non-performing assets) is due to the interest on Rs 52,000 crore. The country will never forgive you.
“The country should know that deeds of the previous government were behind NPAs. The previous government is fully responsible. They made such banking policies in which pressure was exerted on the banks, telephone calls were made and the favourites would get loans. The government, bank and middlemen would jointly restructure the loans on paper and lakhs of crores were given,” Modi added.
The Prime Minister said the entire issue came to attention of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led government after it came to office in 2014.
“If I had to do politics, I would have placed the facts before people right at the beginning of (my tenure), but it would have hit the economy. I remained quiet despite having proof of your sins. I remained quiet in the interest of the country. Now we have empowered the banks and time has come to bring the truth before people,” Modi said.
“This NPA is your sin. I am telling this in the temple of democracy. After our government came to power, we have not given a single loan which turned into a NPA.”
Accusing the Congress of giving wrong statistics, he said its leaders had put the stressed assets identified as NPAs in 2014 at 36 per cent, but these had turned out to be 82 per cent.
He said the government had strengthened banks through recapitalisation.
Modi accused the Congress of “hit-and-run politics” and said “the more you throw mud, the more lotus (BJP’s election symbol) will bloom”.