Preventing loan defaulters from fleeing the country, the Bureau of Immigration has issued 83 Look Out Circulars (LOCs) on the request of banks.
In a bid to prevent economic offenders from flying out of the country, the government had empowered top executives of public sector banks to seek the Circulars against wilful loan defaulters.
“The Bureau of Immigration has opened 83 LOCs till now at the behest of banks,” Minister of State for Home Affairs Nityanand Rai said in the Rajya Sabha.
The Chairmen, Managing Directors and Chief Executive Officers are authorised to approach government departments and enforcement agencies to issue a Look Out Circular to alert immigration check posts to stop anyone from leaving the country.
The government has been tough in dealing with loan defaulters. After the alleged case of cheating the Punjab National Bank (PNB) to the tune of Rs 13,000 crore by Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi came to light, banks were told to be more vigilant.
Among various measures to tighten the noose around big loan defaulters and serious tax offenders, the government has enacted the Fugitive Economic Offenders Act, 2018, providing for attachment and confiscation of their properties.
“Further, government has advised Public Sector Banks to obtain certified copy of the passport of promoters/directors and other authorised signatories of companies availing of loan facilities of more than Rs 50 crore,” the Minister said in a written reply.