Seeking to corner the previous UPA government over the alleged Rs 22,848 crore banking fraud by ABG Shipyard, Union Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal on Saturday said loans were disbursed to the firm from 2005 to 2012 in the rip off -- being termed as the largest such fraud in the country.
"Some people have the wrong notion. I want to clear the air in front of you. The principal loans were disbursed between 2005 and 2012. The loans were distributed continuously. You all know about the phone banking then," he told reporters here while replying to a query.
"The people, politicians, and officers sitting in Delhi used to phone the bank chairman and on that basis, loans were given. You and me, if we wanted to start a small industry, factory... faced a lot of hardship (for loans)," he added.
"But the big people easily got loans in thousands of crores on phone through the means of the government of that time. They got loans until 2012. Mind the date -- in November 2013 these loans turned Non-Performing Assets (NPA)," he said.
The minister added that the government was taking strict action against wrongdoers.
Speaking about exports, Goyal said India's outbound shipments this year (2021-22) will be at record levels.
Goods exports will be around $400 billion, or around Rs 30 lakh crore, while services export is estimated at $240 billion, about Rs 20 lakh crore.
He credited Prime Minister Narendra Modi for this performance, saying he has created a conducive environment and forged international relations to bolster exports.
This export growth will push development activities rapidly, he said, adding it will benefit the young generation.