Unethical business practices a significant problem: Jaitley

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"Similarly, the top management who were indifferent, multiple layers of auditing system which chose to look the other way, it creates a worrisome situation", he said adding that the industry needs to get into the habit of doing "ethical" business. He said, regulators should have a third eye open to detect and check such frauds.He also slammed bank management for failing to do their job saying inadequate supervision and top management being unaware of what was going on in the bank was worrisome.

In the wake of the Rs 11,380-crore scam at the Punjab National Bank, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Saturday said regulators need to be held accountable. The law would be tightened further, if necessary, to find out where the fraudsters were and what was the action that the law permitted against such delinquent persons.

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On rising case of frauds, Jaitley said, "Cases of willful default is something which is much more than a business failure and also bank frauds".

Amid growing clamour about privatisation of state-owned banks after the PNB scam, Jaitley said the move may not find political consensus. "To chase these people to the last possible conclusion to make sure the country is not cheated", he had said.

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On being asked about simultaneous election in the country, Jaitley said that it will help in smooth governance for a period of five years both at the Centre and state level. Privatisation of PSBs involved a large political consensus. "It's a very challenging decision", he said. Also, it involves an amendment to the law (Banking Regulation Act).

Meawhile, the Enforcement Directorate (ED), which is probing the role of absconding diamond merchant Nirav Modi in the Rs 11,400-crore fraud at the Punjab National Bank, has now attached 21 properties worth over Rs 523 crore linked to him. Earlier, industry body Assocham had urged the government to reduce its stake in public sector banks to less than 50 per cent so that theycan work with the sense of accountability and with the interest of stakeholders and depositors on priority. Rahul Bajaj of Bajaj Group, too, pitched for bank privatisation.

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