PSU Bosses may be Exempted from furnishing passport info

 The government is likely to exempt heads and senior officials of state-run firms from submitting their passport detail to banks. At present passport details of promoters, directors and authorized signatories in respect of loan accounts of 50 crores and above must be furnished with the lenders. The finance ministry had issued the advisory in 2018 to public sectors banks (PSBs) to enable lenders to informs relevant authorities of the passport details if needed.                                                                                                                 “we have received representation from both banks and central public sector enterprises (CPSEs) on the matter. This is being looked at as, prima facie, there is a cause for providing such exemption,” said a government official. A senior executive with a state-run firm said top officials of central public sector Enterprises are not a “flight risk”, and these rules were leading to additional paperwork.                                                                                                                               “top executives in state-run firms are selected only after requisite vigilance clearances. So already their details are available. The additional information is not required in this cause unlike private promoters, where passport details may come in handy to stop them from fleeing abroad,” the person added. In 2018 the government advised all public sector banks to obtain a certified copy of the passport of the promoters/ directors and other authorized signatories of companies. availing of loan facilities of 50 crore or more. In cause where the concerned person does not have a passport, a certificate in the form of declaration that the person does not process a passport should suffice in lieu of passport details according to the directive. Letter that years, the home ministry included chairman, chief executive officers and managing directors of public sector banks in the list of individuals who can seek issuance of look-out circulars against offenders to prevent their escape from the country.                                                      The directive is already facing scrutiny from the courts. In December, the Bombay High court ruled that look out circulars issued against individuals at the instance of public sectors banks shall not restrain them from traveling abroad temporarily.                                                                                    Under the existing guidelines from the existing guidelines from the central vigilance commission (CVC), all cause of officials of a CPSE is evident shall be referred to the Anti-Corruption Branch of CBL. In cause where involvement of official is not evident they shall be referred to the Economic offences wing of the central agency.

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