Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Central bank seeks action against Gurkha Development Bank's former chiefs, board members

The central bank sought Nepal Police help to nab former executive chairman D B Bomjan and board members Ramesh Tamang, Meena Shrestha, Nirmal Gurung, Dhan Prasad Rai, Mahesh Prasad Rijal, Sanjeev Kumar Mishra and Dinesh Shakya of troubled Gurkha Development Bank.
From the central bank’s primary investigation, it is found that they were involved in lending irregularities leading to deterioration of the development bank´s financial health.
“We have asked Nepal Police to arrest former board members and executive of Gurkha Development Bank,” said Nepal Rastra Bank spokesperson Bhaskar Mani Gyawali.
The board meeting of the central bank held on Tuesday decided to take action against those involved in irregularities while issuing loans, causing loss to the bank, as per the Banking Offense and Punishment Act.
Those involved in irregularities also include former general manager Rajendra Das Shresha, chief credit officer Dipak Rana Magar, former board member Prabin Naulakha and managing director of Mentha Products Rakesh Kumar Adukiya.
If proven guilty, they will be sent to prison for for three years, apart from fines, according to Banking Offense and Punishment Act.
NRB has also sought action against borrowers Jiban Ghimire and Sanjeev Kumar Agrawal. They are loans defaulters and were found to have taken loans through unfair means.
The central bank has also asked the police to investigate and take action against Ruchi Jadojia and Punam Khetan, directors of Krishi Pemura -- an institutional investor in the bank -- for their suspected involvement in irregularities.
However, it is doubted that the police can arrest them as the police has failed to arrest chairman of liquidated Nepal Development Bank.
Had the police been able to arrest Pun and sent him behind the bar, others would not have dared to cheat bank, a high level central bank official said.
Though, the central bank has also requested the government to freeze passport, bank accounts, lockers, saving certificates, fixed and current assets and shares of Ghimire, Agrawal, Jadojia, Khetan, Shrestha and Naulakha, it is highly suspected that the police could act against them.
Gurkha Development bank has been declared a troubled bank more than a month ago, due to its poor governance and subsequent deterioration of its financial health. However, the development bank has elected new board of directors and started its operation after almost a month’s closure.


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