New Delhi: The Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) has strongly criticized ICICI Bank for allowing Peoples Bank of China to invest in the bank despite strong sentiments prevailing in the country against China and its anti-India policies.
The CAIT said that this is a second such instance of a Chinese bank trying to make inroads into the Indian banking system. The People's Bank of China had earlier this year made an investment in HDFC Bank. "The CAIT has asked Finance Minister Nirmala Sithraman to direct both ICICI & HDFC Bank to return the investments by a Chinese bank," a statement said.
CAIT Secretary General Praveen Khandelwal said that China has designed a well-planned strategy to make an intrusion into the Indian banking sector, which is quite well regulated and is very important for the financial health of the country.
Even though the Government had introduced a mechanism to check the foreign portfolio investments, there is nothing concrete yet from the RBI to restrain and control the funding coming in from China.
CAIT National President B.C. Bhartia has said that this sudden interest of China into India's banking sector raises an alarm bell for the entire banking sector and the Reserve Bank of India, being the custodian of India's banking sector must now be on high alert to closely monitor this sinister strategy of China which in the long run can be detrimental to the nation.
"The present investments might be small, but we should not forget that it's a part of the strategy of China," he added.
In the matter of imports of Chinese goods to India, China started in 2001 with only $2 billion of imports to India, which has risen to $70 billion in 2019. A whopping increase of 3500 percent and in the same way, China must be looking at the country's financial and banking sectors.
Both CAIT leaders have urged Sitharaman to take immediate cognizance of this entire matter and devise a policy framework to thwart China's plans and protect the sovereignty of the banking system as also advise the RBI to take necessary steps immediately.
(With Inputs from IANS)