PSU banks may be asked to seek passport details of large borrowers

In order to stop the loan defaulters from fleeing the country, the government is exploring the possibility of directing PSU banks to seek passport details of borrowers of loans above Rs 50 crore.

This move is being mooted to ensure better coordination between various investigative agencies in the event of a defaulter trying to flee the country. Banks can also alert investigative agencies immediately if they come across cases of fraud. The move comes against the backdrop of several high profile cases, including the recent Rs 12,600 crore fraud in Punjab National Bank (PNB) allegedly triggered by jewellers Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi. The government is making all out efforts to get them back to the country to face the law. Authorities have also been trying to get former liquor baron Vijay Mallya extradited from the UK and face the law for the Kingfisher airlines default case.

Sources said passport details with banks will also deter any defaulter from trying to flee for fearing of being apprehended in airports. While the idea is under discussion, a final call maybe taken soon, they said. The government has taken a series of steps to tighten the processes in state-run banks to ensure that there is better coordination between various wings.

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