New Delhi: A purported audio clip where finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman could be heard scolding SBI chairman Rajnish Kumar got leaked creating a furore in the banking sector. The Al India Bank Officers’ Confederation has condemned the behaviour and demanded an investigation into how the clip got leaked on social media bringing much shame to its chairman. Also Read - Yes Bank Gets New Board, Decides to Raise Additional Rs 5,000 Crore
So here’s what happened: Also Read - Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana: Nirmala Sitharaman Unveils Rs 1 Lakh 70 Thousand Crore Package. Who Will Benefit?
On February 27, the finance minister attended SBI’s Financial Inclusion Outreach Programme in Guwahati. The issues faced bu Assam and the other northeastern stated were being discussed. From the clip, it seems the minister became irked that 2.5 lakh bank accounts of tea garden workers in Assam had become defunct as they didn’t complete their KYC. “You are a heartless bank,” the minister could be heard saying. Also Read - Sensex Surges Over 1,200 Pts With Gains in Banking, IT Shares, Nifty Tops 8,600 Mark
“This is not how things will go…nothing makes up for your inefficiency,” the minister said. The SBI chairman apologised. “She launched a vituperative verbal tirade at Rajnish Kumar and accused him of being responsible for all the failures of the Bank (SBI) in extending loans, especially to the tea garden workers as a ‘heartless bank’ and literally humiliated Rajnish Kumar, chairman of the largest bank in the country in the forum,” AIBOC said.
Assam minister Himanta Biswa Sarma was also present at the meeting. He took to Twitter saying there has been a misunderstanding. “I’m grateful to the finance minister for championing the cause of these deprived workers. After her intervention, Assam Govt is working closely with the public sector banks of the region to ensure financial inclusion for the most underprivileged sections of society,” the minister tweeted.