The Gem and Jewellery Export Promotion Council
said it will suspend Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi from the Council in case they
fail to respond to its notices over the Rs 12,000-crore Punjab National Bank
fraud by March 9th.
The Council had issued the first show-cause
notice to both Modi and Choksi in early February, but has not received any
explanation from them. It has again issued another notice this week.
“If they do not send any explanation by March 9 though,
we will approach our disciplinary committee and begin the process of suspending
them from the council,” GJEPC vice-chairman Colin Shah said.
Shah said there are legalities to the entire
procedure and the Council will act accordingly.
According to Shah, GJEPC has also submitted
suggestions to the government on how to make stringent norms to avoid any
financial irregularities relating to the industry in future.
“We are meeting with officials in the Commerce,
Finance Ministries and Bankers and have submitted our suggestions last week on
how to strengthen the processes to avoid any kind of fraudulent practices in
future. Discussions are on and we hope something concrete will come up within a
few weeks,” said Shah.
Modi, his uncle Choksi and others are being
investigated by multiple probe agencies after the scam recently came to light
following a complaint by the Punjab National Bank (PNB) that they had allegedly
cheated the nationalized bank of over Rs 12,000 crore.
Meanwhile, Shah said, the industry, which has a
major chunk of small and medium-sized enterprises, is already struggling for
finance and this incident has further made the situation difficult for them.
“These are small companies who are looking for Rs
10-50 lakh. We hope this hurdle faced by these SMEs, which are lifeline of our
trade, will not affect the trade in any way,” he said.