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SBI’s Arundhati Bhattacharya served breach of privilege notice over farm loan waiver comment

LiveMint logoLiveMint 17-03-2017 PTI

Mumbai: A Congress leader in Maharashtra has submitted a breach of privilege notice against State Bank of India (SBI) chairman Arundhati Bhattacharya for “insulting farmers and the House” through her remarks on farm loan waiver.

The leader of opposition in the Maharashtra assembly, Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil, said he has submitted the notice to speaker Haribhau Bagde as “Bhattacharya did not apologise for her remarks despite the Congress’ demand”.

The senior Congress leader said he has described Bhattacharya’s comments as “insulting to farmers, elected representatives and the House” in the notice. The opposition Congress and NCP have been demanding a complete farm loan waiver for farmers by raising the issue in the legislature.

The SBI chief had recently said that farm loan waivers upset credit discipline. “We feel that in case of a (farm) loan waiver, there is always a fall in credit discipline because the people who get the waiver have expectations of future waivers as well. Such future loans often remain unpaid,” Bhattacharya had said on sidelines of an event here on Wednesday.

“Bhattacharya is not a policymaker and she cannot take a decision regarding loan waivers to farmers. She had no right to make such comments,” Patil said Friday, adding that the SBI chief’s remarks were “violation of the rights of the legislature which make laws”.

The notice by the Congress did not come up in the Maharashtra assembly due to repeated disruptions over the demand for the farm loan waiver. The state assembly witnessed four adjournments amid uproar, before it was adjourned for the day.

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