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May 06, 2013 at 06:39pm IST

RBI should release its audit report on the banks: Aniruddha Bahal

Special Investigations website Cobrapost has revealed that 23 banks and insurance companies have been engaged in money laundering. Among the 23 banks involved are mostly PSU banks including some big names like the State Bank of India, Bank of Baroda, Punjab National Bank, Canara Bank, IDBI, Oriental Bank and Dena Bank. Aniruddha Bahal, editor-in-chief, Cobrapost.com, joined IBNLive readers for an interaction on the matter.

Q. Hats off to you and your team. I fear that tomorrow there will be a larger scam and this will be forgotten, how do you plan to take this further? Have you discussed with Arvind Kejriwal on how to bring this to its logical conclusion? I am ashamed to be calling myself an Indian, it sends shivers down my spine when I realize how both public sector and private sector are in the same rot. Asked by: Dhaval B Shah

RBI should release its audit report on the banks: Aniruddha Bahal

Cobrapost expose on 23 banks including SBI and PNB allegedly engaged in money laundering.

A. We cannot be cynical and not do investigations because we fear that they might not have the impact we hope to or desire. As a media platform we can only do stories and then when they are in the public space there are others whose role it could be to take it forward.

Q. Is Indian Bank involved? Asked by: srikanthshining@gmail.com

A. The list of banks is there on our press release.

Q. In the banks internal audit is a farce that is the reason these types of deviations are happening. Asked by: Prathap

A. Well, those accused of money laundering can hardly be trusted to do an audit on themselves! You could say they are farces. The RBI should immediately release its audit report or otherwise the people of India will start thinking that they are a farce.

Q. We are seeing corruption everywhere, Railways, Banks, allocations etc. But don't you think that honest people are an exception and a minority in India, else why will they allow this to happen. Also do you have iota of hope that your allegations will be even seen or acknowledged by RBI, ED, IT or Ministeries concerned? Asked by: Raghu

A. There are honest officers working in those organisations. Maybe some of them have the pride where they think that such things cannot be allowed on their watch.

Q. The Finance Ministry should take charge of this immediately. We the honest taxpayers are feeling cheated every moment. It is absolutely frustrating to see that even after your 2nd Expose neither Finance Ministry nor ED nor RBI is taking any action against them. The foreign money will stop coming to India if this remains the situation. Hope the IBNLive takes this seriously with the Finance Ministry. Asked by: Sujauddin

A. Yes the matter is very serious.

Q. Do you think, what you found out is just a tip of iceberg? Asked by: sagar S

A. More than a 100 branches of various banks have been exposed so far. Is that the tip of the iceberg? But i do think that it is much more widely prevalent than even this.

Q. We are seeing corruption everywhere, Railways, Banks, allocations etc. But don't you think that honest people are an exception and a minority in India, else why will they allow this to happen. Also do you have iota of hope that your allegations will be even seen or acknowledged by RBI, ED, IT or Ministries concerned? Asked by: Raghu

A. The RBI and ED never asked for any details. The IT department asked for our CDs but we haven't heard of them since.

Q. Its not just bank definitely there is some big politician involved. Without there help Bank can't go forward. Whats your stand on that? Asked by: Rishi Daftary

A. Well, the money of politicians is definitely being laundered by the banks and that may be one of the reasons why the politicians are not talking too much about it.

Q. What keeps you motivated when no action is being taken at all against wrongdoers? Asked by: c4conscience

A. It is our job as journalists to push such investigations in the public domain. Eventually everything makes a difference. We can't be too cynical.

Q. It seems a minister from Andhra Pradesh (Sailajanath) is actively involved.If that is the case how the exists laws can stop this menace? Asked by: kumar

A. There are enough laws in this country. They just need to be implemented properly.

Q. Why do we always see Media exposing large scams? What then is the role of our enforcement agencies. Asked by: Satish Kumar

A. The CAG has been doing some good work with its auditing. Unfortunately the other agencies are too much under the control of the government.

Q. Congratulations to your persistence and diligence. Banks, especially the nationalized ones, had become the holy cows of our society. What exactly is the function of the banking ombudsman in this country? Just rubber stamp posts? Asked by: Sujit Bhar

A. The RBI seems to be a protector of the banks rather than a regulator. It seems to be a very incestuous relationship.

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