Even though Punjab National Bank (PNB) was being cheated since the year 2011 and recently one of its scams came to limelight, the scam of Rs 11,400 crore. This company has ironically been awarded for excellence in banking vigilance for three consecutive years.
Going by the records and as the website of the bank mentions, two of the awards for best vigilance was given to PNB in the year 2017, the same year when PNB issued 293 Letter of Understanding (LoU) to Nirav Modi's company and relatives by the Central Vigilance Commissioner (CVC) KV Chowdary.
Adding to the irony is that in March last year at 'Vigilance Conclave' that was organised at Osmania University, Hyderabad, the Chief Vigilance Officer, S K Nagpal of PNB received a “Corporate Vigilance Excellence Award” from KV Chowdary, Central Vigilance Commissioner (CVC)
Going by the Vigilance Commission website, an awareness week organised by the Central Vigilance Commission in New Delhi in October last year, a lot of people were felicitated from various PSUs for their anti-corruption work and strangely PNB received the Vigilance Excellence Award. Again SK Nagpal was given the award by KV Chowdary, CVC for timely Completion of Disciplinary Proceedings. Strangely the government-owned bank who allegedly had rogue employees like benefiting people like Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi bagged three vigilance excellence awards.
If you visit the PNB website, it says the bank has received vigilance award in 2014-15 and captioned it as “improved handling of complaints, the institution of whistleblowing system, quick disposal of vigilance cases, reduction in outstanding vigilance cases, pruning down of vigilance cases of more than one year etc”.
Even the caption said that the PSU has been taking various preventive-anti-corruption measures. It also mentions that they have introduced vigilance audit system, the introduction of new Risk-Based Staff Accountability Policy.
They even ironically mentioned that the bank has saved over Rs 45 crore.
When Catch News spoke to one of the employees in Hyderabad he said, “Awards are mostly given based on the overall performance of the institute. And scam like these acts as a wake-up call to improve the vigilance standards.”
When asked if he accepts that the recent scam is a failure of the system, he said, “Of course this is the failure of the whole system and internal control systems as we could haven't detected the fraud early on.”