More transparency, resisted by RBI and banking fraternity, would have red-flagged troubles in advance
GN Bureau | February 20, 2018
The Right to Information (RTI), used efficiently, could have helped activists and bankers expose irregularities much before they snowballed into full-fledged scams – the one at Punjab National Bank (PNB) being only the latest example.
That is the argument coming from Shailesh Gandhi, former information commissioner at the Central Information Commission.
Referring to his orders on transparency and disclosure from RBI, which were upheld by the supreme court, he says, “There were ten such orders in which various aspects were ordered to be disclosed all of which were upheld.”
Gandhi, however, adds “RBI is not honouring these decisions and is treating them with contempt. If these had been followed, maybe transparency could have made the Indian banking industry stronger. Nirav Modi and Vijay Mallya may have caused lesser damage.”
Maybe, even now, the time has not run out to get RBI to follow the information commission's orders and check other irregularities before they hit headlines.
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This piece is based on a previous article by the authors published in Geoforum [Elsevier] in May 2019: available online: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/ S0016718519300764?via%3Dihub
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