The All India Bank Employees Association (AIBEA) today urged the Centre to come out with an effective mechanism to deal with high volume defaulters, by making wilful default a criminal offence.
"The wilful default of bank loans should be made a criminal offence", AIBEA general secretary, C H Venkatachalam, told reporters here.
"Such defaulters should not be allowed to hold office of public interest or contest in elections", he said, adding that the banking regulator should publish the list of such defaulters, since over Rs 5.65 lakh crore of public funds were locked up as NPAs.
In the name of recovery the banks sold the assets of wilful defaulters and cover up, he said. Instead they can be penalised and put behind bars and highlighted the need for an effecrive mechanism to deal with such defaulters.
Venkatachalam, here to attend the 8th State Conference of Canara Bank Employees Union, stressed the need for an early settlement of the wage talks and said that it remained inconclusive for over two years and the new government in place at the Centre, should resolve it soon.
Highlighting the demands, he said "we will press for early settlement of wages, stress the need to make wilful default of bank loans a criminal offence, publish the list of such corporate defaulters, emphasise the need to lend more to priority sectors like agriculture, education, small and medium businesses and rural development, open branches in unbanked areas, desist privatisation of public sector banks and bring all private banks into public sector fold, oppose bank merger".
"If the RBI or Government fail to pay heed to the demands, the AIBEA will give a call to its members to strike at a short notice", Venkatachalam said.