Almost everyone is aware that newsgroups get their stories from their own reporters, news agencies, stringers and most importantly, from PR firms. These days, business stories and political story ideas are mostly planted by public relation agencies. Such stories should be marked as promotional or agency content. Unfortunately, that’s not happening in most of the cases.
Many PR articles are passed on as stories written by journalists. It’s easy to identify such pieces as they often reflect biased, one side view on the issue.
Take this recently published story by Economic Times about how ‘CBI’s action against corrupt bankers can impact economic growth‘ as an example.
To sum it up quickly, the report draws a picture suggesting that CBI’s investigation in Kingfisher case can result in chaos for the banking industry. It can slow down the loan sanction process even further and hamper government’s investment push for economic growth. Thus, investigating agencies should not question the way banks lend money.
It shares opinions given by certain anonymous bankers and former RBI Deputy Governor-KC Chakrabarty. Believe it or not, the report has actually questioned the CBI’s ability to investigate financial frauds. (They probably mean to say people working in CBI’s Economic Offenses Division do not have ANY work experience).
The article points out that many large loan accounts have failed in the past, but the government is only serious about Mallya’s case. It also claims that some bank executives were forced to sanction loans due to political pressure.
Without giving much of details about the information provided by the CBI, it just says that CBI questioned former IDBI bank officials about offering loan to a company that was tagged as below investment grade.
Consultant Ashwin Parekh is quoted saying, “Bankers should be assured that they have nothing to fear.”
Echoing bankers’ propaganda?
Reports available in the public domain suggest that officials did not follow the established norms. If it was just a commercial decision that went wrong, let all the involved bankers prove it in front of the investigating agencies. Let them share names of politicians who forced them to approve loans.
There is no logic in suggesting that corrupt bankers should be left untouched for the sake of credit growth. They must be held accountable for their decisions. Ignoring corruption for growth may lead to massive NPAs.
It’s worth recalling how several bank employees, branch managers, and even RBI officials were recently arrested in connection with converting black money into white. They don’t want CBI, CVC to question bankers, how convenient, isn’t it? Are these corrupt bankers in a position to certify and offer a distinction between business failures and corruption cases?
CBI officials probing the matter have already shared the evidence on the basis of which the agency took action against former bank officials.
Bankers are attempting to cover up corruption by tagging it as a legitimate commercial failure. Do they think spreading canards using PR firms can help in creating pressure on the government? Now, it’s up to readers to decide what’s right and wrong.