UPA phone-a-loan scam led to NPAs, claims Modi

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Hits out at Cong for ‘hiding’ bad loans, pats own govt

New Delhi, September 1

Prime Minister Narendra Modi today launched a blistering attack on the Congress for leaving the economy on a “landmine” by its indiscriminate lending, saying loans were handed out to select businessmen after phone calls were made by “namdaars” (dynasts).

“The cumulative outstanding bad debt was  Rs 9 lakh crore, but the figure announced by UPA was only  Rs 2-2.5 lakh crore. Banks were under pressure by ‘namdaars’  to give loans to cronies,” said Modi.

He blamed the “phone-a-loan” scam of the previous UPA regime, “where money was lent by banks to select rich businessmen close to a particular family for mounting non-performing assets (NPAs) or bad loans”, but vowed to recover every penny from defaulters.

None of the 12 biggest defaulters, who between them account for over Rs 1.75 lakh crore of NPAs, were given loan by the present government, Modi said at the launch of the payments bank of the Indian postal department.

He said while the UPA hid the bad loans, his government has properly recognised them and brought tough laws to deal with defaults and recovery money.

The PM said the country was cheated when the last government put such loan amount at Rs 2-2.5 lakh crore when it actually was Rs 9 lakh crore. Congress chief Rahul Gandhi had recently  attacked the government for NPAs jumping to Rs 12.5 lakh crore under the BJP rule from Rs 2.5 lakh crore under the UPA.

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