New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday launched a scathing attack on the Congress for giving huge loans through phone banking networks, which has now turned into a landmine of NPAs. Modi vowed that his government would work towards bringing back every single rupee lost through bad loans through tough laws and other strict banking measures.

While launching the India Post Payments Bank (IPPB) at the Talkatora Stadium in New Delhi on Saturday, the prime minister said from 1947 to 2008, banks in our country disbursed a total of Rs 8 lakh crore as loan amount. But after 2008, till 2014, the UPA government increased the amount to Rs 34 lakh crore and that “the UPA government more than doubled that (1947-2008) amount in loans in the past six years”.

The prime minister said, "There was a special tradition of phone banking and it was so widespread that if any 'naamdar’ (big shot) made a phone call, people seeking the loan would easily get it. Whichever big industrialist wanted a loan would get it with a phone call and the banks would give loans worth thousands of crores of rupees. All rules and regulations were thrown aside in case of phone banking.

“Phone banking by the Congress and its frontline leaders caused a huge loss to the country,” Modi said.

The prime minister noted that the UPA government had hatched a conspiracy to hide the actual amount of NPAs. They said only Rs 2 lakh crore was stuck and there was a doubt whether the money would come back or not. "The last government was hiding the actual amount and saying that only Rs 2 lakh crore was stuck. It is actually Rs 9 lakh crore,” Modi said. 

“The country would be shocked to hear how the last government betrayed the nation. With increasing interest, the amount would keep going higher,” he said.

The prime minister alleged that when the NDA came to power, “we realised that the Congress and the naamdars have put the country on such a landmine that if we had brought out the entire truth at that time before the country, there would have been an explosion and it would have been difficult to handle the country’s economy. They have caused that amount of destruction to the economy”.

Modi said the government has changed laws, decided to merge banks and encouraged professional approach in them. Under the Fugitive Economic Offenders’ Bill, the fugitives’ properties are being confiscated and passport details of people who have taken big loans have been taken so that they cannot run away.

“There are 12 biggest defaulters who have defaulted on loans worth over Rs 1.75 lakh crore. We have started fast action and we can see results as well. There are 27 others who have taken big loans up to Rs 1 lakh crore and the return of money is being ensured,” he said.

The prime minister said that the NDA government has made such laws that now loan defaulters are doing the rounds of the banks.

“They are being forced to return the money and investigative agencies are turning the heat on defaulters. I want to assure that among all these big loans, my government has not given even a single one of them. After coming to power, we have changed the situation and direction of banks. I want to assure the country that 
we will bring back each and every rupee that had been given as bad loans,” Modi said.

On the payments bank, he said that through IPPB initiative, the government’s mission is to “take the bank and banking facilities to every doorstep". 

"The IPPB will bring about a big change in the banking and social structure of this country,” Modi said.

“First through the Jan Dhan scheme, we helped several crore people to reach the bank. Now through this IPPB initiative, we are working to take the bank to the doorstep of the poor and to the villages. The IPPB has started branches in 650 districts and the postman who used to deliver letters to us has now become a walking bank for us,” he said.