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Industry chambers condemn $1.8 bn fraud, rap functioning of PSU banks

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PNB

New Delhi, Feb 16: Two days after the $1.8 billion fraud in Punjab National Bank (PNB) disclosed, industry chambers on Friday condemned the incident criticising the functioning of public sector banks.

“Alleged fraudulent transactions worth Rs 11,300 crore from a single branch of the Punjab National Bank with the connivance of the junior official(s) shows how vulnerable the Indian banks, especially those in the public sector, have become, with a dangerous potential contagion in the country’s financial system,” a statement by Assocham said.

The Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) condemned the illegal and unethical business practices adopted in the recent PSU Bank fraud case and commends the speed with which the government agencies including Enforcement Directorate, Central Bureau of Investigation and other agencies have moved to take the investigation forward.

Fraudsters should be expeditiously punished in accordance with the law, the chamber said.

FICCI also recommended that in order to strengthen systemic and others risk management systems within the banking ecosystem, a thorough root cause analysis be done to plug the gaps and ensure there is no repeat of any wrongdoing that impacts the rightful functioning of any banking institution while discharging its duties to its customers and stakeholders.

“FICCI defends the freedom of business enterprise but does not support illegal and unethical business practices,” said Rashesh Shah, President, FICCI.

“The fact that an officer of the level of a deputy manager, as is being reported in the media, could single handed wreck not only the country’s second largest PSU bank but also several other lenders shows how the risk management system is lacking in these entities and how a chain of command system was not there or was not followed,” said D S Rawat, Secretary General, ASSOCHAM.

He said with growing size of the Indian economy, the size of the banks and other financial institutions have also become large enough to leave a huge contagion, in case things go wrong.

“The PNB incident should open our eyes to the malaise and a huge gap that exists in building a foolproof risk detection and management. Ironically, even the regulator, which is the RBI, could not detect the problem well in time. After all, the RBI inspection is considered a routine affair in the bank branches,” Rawat added.

He said “the scandal” has broken at a worse time for the banks which are battling a humongous problem of the non-performing assets.

“The PNB incident should not be allowed to shake confidence of depositors in the banking system. Such incidents would also make the public more apprehensive about the impending FRDI Bill,” he said.

IANS

Cities

Delhi reports 51 cases of minor adverse events post vaccination

As many as 1,91,181 people were vaccinated on day one of India’s first phase of the coronavirus vaccination drive.

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Covid 19 Vaccine

Hours after the Health Ministry announced on January 16 that India has reported no case of post-vaccination hospitalisation yet, 51 persons complained of minor adverse events in Delhi. Another person developed severe adverse event following immunization and had to be referred to the AEFI centre.

Out of a total of 4,319 healthcare and frontline workers who were vaccinated on Jnauary 16 in the National Capital, two healthcare workers at NDMC’s Charak Palika Hospital reported mild adverse event post-vaccination including mild tightness in the chest. They were kept under observation by AEFI team and discharged 30 minutes later after they felt at ease. The two other cases were reported from Northern Railway Central Hospital, of which one was referred to the AEFI centre, the Delhi government has informed.

As many as 1,91,181 people were vaccinated on day one of India’s first phase of the coronavirus vaccination drive.

Beneficiaries from 11 states and union territories across India received Covishield or Covaxin shots on the first day of the vaccination drive, namely, Assam, Bihar, Delhi, Haryana, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Odisha, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, and Uttar Pradesh.

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Health

Bharat Biotech to pay compensation if Covaxin causes side-effects

The vaccine maker said in phase 1 and phase 2 clinical trials, Covaxin has demonstrated the ability to produce antidotes against COVID- 19

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COVAXIN Corona Covid vaccine

Hyderabad, January 16: Bharat Biotech, which has received a government purchase order for supply of 55 lakh doses of Covaxin, a COVID-19 vaccine, said the company would pay compensation to recipients in case of any serious adverse effects experienced after receiving the antidote.

In the consent form to be signed by the vaccine recipients, Bharat Biotech said: “In case of any adverse events or serious adverse events, you will be provided medically recognised standard of care in the government designated and authorised centres/hospitals.”

“The compensation for serious adverse event will be paid by sponsor (BBIL) in case if the SAE is proven to be causally related to the vaccine,” the consent form said.

In phase 1 and phase 2 clinical trials, Covaxin has demonstrated the ability to produce antidotes against COVID- 19. However, the clinical efficacy of the vaccine was yet to be established and it was still being studied in phase 3 clinical trials, the vaccine maker said.

“Hence it is important to appreciate that receiving the vaccine does not mean that other precautions related to COVID-19 need not be followed,” the consent form said.

According to an industry expert, the company is liable to pay compensation to people in case of serious side effects as the vaccine is being administered while in the clinical trial mode.

The central licensing authority has granted permission for the sale or distribution of Covaxin for restricted use in emergency situations in public interest as an abundant caution, in clinical trial mode.

Meanwhile, Suchitra Ella, joint managing director, Bharat Biotech International Limited, on her Twitter account said: “Covaxin & Bharat Biotech is truly humbled & honoured to be of service to the nation & the fraternity of all first responders of covid who have served public health.” — PTI

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AIIMS security guard reports allergy post COVID vaccination, in hospital care

Delhi has reported 52 adverse events following events of which one is serious and could involve the guard hospitalised today.

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Vaccine

New Delhi, January 16

A 22-year-old security guard at AIIMS, New Delhi reported allergic reaction and is learnt to be in intensive care, moments after the government said there was no post-vaccine hospitalisation.

The 22-year-old guard developed headache, rash, respiratory distress, tachycardia after vaccination. He is in ICU and his condition is stable, hospital sources said.

Delhi has reported 52 adverse events following events of which one is serious and could involve the guard hospitalised today.

All beneficiaries vaccinated at AIIMS got indigenous COVAXIN.

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