Congress spokesperson Supriya Shrinate on Monday questioned the inaction of the Enforcement Directorate (EB) against Paytm Payments Bank—a subsidiary of fintech firm Paytm—despite negative observations by the banking regulator of the country, news agency ANI reported.
“What is the Centre’s stand on the issue? Why did the Paytm Payments Bank get a long rope for the past seven years? The founder of Paytm Payments Bank is a bhakt of PM (Narendra) Modi, gets selfies with him and publishes ads in the PM’s favour,” the Congress leader told ANI.
“PM Modi backs Paytm in his election rallies. Why do the agencies stay mum when allegations are levelled against PM Modi’s associates? Why is the ED silent?” Shrinate said.
“The RBI has restricted Paytm Payments Bank and there will be no existence of it after February 29…There are very serious charges levelled by the RBI. The irregularities started in 2017…Why is the CBI silent when the RBI talks about money laundering in this case?” Shrinate asked.
The Congress leader’s remark came after the fintech firm informed the stock exchanges in a regulatory filing that neither the parent company One97 Communications nor its founder Vijay Shekhar Sharma is facing a probe by the ED.
“Neither the Company nor its founder and CEO is being investigated by the Enforcement Directorate regarding inter alia money laundering. In the past, certain merchants/users on our platforms have been subject to enquiries and on those occasions, we have always cooperated with the authorities,” Paytm said in the regulatory filing.
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“We would like to set the record straight and deny any involvement in anti-money laundering activities. We have and continue to abide by Indian laws and take regulatory orders with utmost seriousness,” the filing said.
Meanwhile, a Bloomberg report has claimed that the RBI is considering the cancellation of the operating licence of Paytm Payments Bank as early as next month. The bank regulator could act after the February 29 deadline, after which the Paytm subsidiary cannot accept new deposits.
The violations included alleged misuse of customer documentation rules and non-disclosure of material transactions, Bloomberg reported citing sources.
The reports alleged that hundreds and thousands of Paytm Payments Bank customers had not submitted their KYC documents and a single document was used to register thousands of customers in some cases.
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