Cobrapost |
July 26, 2011

V.S. Reddy, Asst. Vice-President, Axis Bank, Hyderabad

V.S. Reddy, Asst. Vice-President, Axis Bank, Hyderabad

Although not averse to accept black money, this senior official of Axis Bank is ready to help going by the rule book

Walking straight up to the desk of a senior staffer, the Cobrapost reporter announces he is looking for some senior manager to discuss about some big investments. He is politely led to the cabin of a senior lady official who happens to be none other than V.S. Reddy, Assistant Vice-President of Axis Bank at this branch, located in one of the swankiest of addresses in Hyderabad.

After the lady banker has finished talking to someone on phone, our reporter exchanges pleasantries with Reddy. What an affable soul he is! He then straightaway gets down to talking business:  He has to invest a big “handsome amount” in some safe, long-term plan, with no deductions whatsoever but with “handsome returns.”

Looking for some information, Reddy asks the reporter if he is working.

No, I am not. I am doing it for some known politician and we are related through marriage: The message is not lost on Reddy who is quick to ask: “Aapka ITR kitna hai, Sir (How much is your ITR).”

It is really big, returns our reporter, but we don’t want to show it.

An understanding Reddy is quick to says: “Nahin wo nahin ye sub main kyon poochh rahin hun … kyonki (No, nothing like that. Why I am asking all this is because) before taking an investment … I just want to ask your strength, your responsibility, your financial responsibility.”

Don’t worry lady, the reporter assures her, our finances are solid. Believe me the cash is lying at home! This is just to make a beginning, and we will start with Rs. 1 crore. If things go well, we will sure increase the investment.

Floored at the proposition, Reddy is quick to ask: “To abhi aap investment ke liye PAN number nahin denge (So, for investmentyou will not furnish the PAN number)?”

You got it right, lady! This is exactly what we are looking for!

But you can suggest both ways, with or without PAN. What we want is it has to be “safe.” In no case the politician’s name has come to light.

But then who will be the proposer, asks Reddy? It can be done in his wife’s name, tells the reporter. But then who will be her nominee, Reddy asks again. Do they have kids?

Yes, they have two, informs the reporter.

That does the trick, and Reddy comes up with a solution: “Toh hum aisa karenge… kids ke naam nomination daal ke uske father ka naam short form mein likh denge so that it will be safe for kids and father’s name bhi disclose nahi hoga (Then, we will do it like this. We will put kid’s name as nominees and will write father’s name in short form so that it will be safe for kids and father’s name will also not get disclosed).”

This is what we call killing two birds with one stone!

As for the PAN card, Reddy advises: “Agar aap life insurance ke liye jaa rahe hain toh its always safe to give your PAN number… kyunki yeh life insurance wale… anybody Sir… yeh jab hum sab dete hain bol ke dete hain but when matter comes exactly…then you all can be… toh ab kya hai abhi manein Sir hum daal diye to while withdrawing kuch bhi problem nahin hona aap log ko (Whenever you go for life insurance, it is always safe to go give your PAN number because these life insurance people … anybody … tell you all nice things while selling you their products … but when matter comes exactly…then you all can be … So, Sir if we put in your money then at the time of withdrawing, you should not face any problem).”

Nobody likes to get into trouble while withdrawing the claims on their investment, says the reporter appreciating her opinion, least of us.

Reddy goes on to advise this: “Toh long term ke liye jo bhi karte hain wo aap(So, whenever you are doing it for long term) better you use your PAN.”

But won’t it be disclosed if we give our PAN? Our reporter raises his concern, naturally.

Reassures Reddy: “Disclose kahin par bhi nahin hoga (It will not be disclosed anywhere) …100 per cent it will not go anywhere… information will go only if we deduct any tax on it.” She then tells that since it is long-term life insurance plan the returns will be tax-free.

So, what we get in returns will all be in white, asks our reporter.

Reddy replies in affirmative: “Jab bhi returns aayega cheque se white hoke aa jayega(Whenever you get the returns, it will come through cheque and will become white).” She understands it well why we are proposing to invest huge money: make it white.

Delving into some other scheme, Reddy tries to convince the reporter to do it in a safe manner. When asked if we could invest our core by breaking into tranches of Rs. 10 lakh, she is unsure of it. She says: “Year, year kariye … ek baar payment kare to ITR aake baith jaata hai…10 lakhs bhi mujhe dekhna hai Sir(You do it on yearly basis. Once you make the payment IT comes and sits upon it … for even Rs. 10 lakh, I will have to check).”

So, how should we begin, asks the reporter?

She says: “First accounts kholna hai…fir investment karenge… bina account ke hum nahin kar sakte…kyunki down the line aap dus saal ke baad withdraw bhi kare toh account mein aake (First you need to start the account… first open the accounts … then we shall go for the investment … we cannot do it without account because down the line when you withdraw after 10 years, it should come in the account).”

We fully agree with you, tells the reporter. We will open the account. Tell me when and how much cash can we put in the accounts.

Reddy nods: “Sub bata denge aapko (I will tell you all).”

Our reporter asks her if she is comfortable he can arrange a telephone call with the minister. Reddy has no problem meeting the minister at the time of opening the accounts. She says: “Baat karnege … jab accounts kholenge tab main aati hun (We will talk … when the accounts will be opened I will come over).” That will be fine.

While telling her the minister’s wife will remain in touch with her for further investments, the reporter makes it clear that our main aim is to make our money white. Reddy replies: “But …wo to white hone mein… wo time lagta hai Sir aapko (But … it takes time to convert it into white, Sir).”

Take as much time as it takes to make our money white!

Has she done investments similar to our case, asks the reporter? Did any of her customers face any problem? Like problems from Income Tax people. No, never, she says. She has been working in this sector for the past 8 years.

She explains: “Sir any individual if you have an income of fifty thousand, if you do an insurance of 5 crores…tab first hum mana karte hain…kyunki before doing anything… hum bhi sochna hai Sir…humko bhi sochana hai na…hum mana karte hain … agar if this is the case same with … agar jake aap insurance company ko direct poochhein… toh wo log kar dete hain…because they are not matured enough…samne front counter wale rahte … chote chote bacche rehte hain…wo future mein problem hoga aapko… to main kya bol rahi hun… though you asks for 1 crore insurance… but we can’t do that amount with your conditions… whatever wo chote chote amount hain…we will try to do that (Sir, any individual … if you have an income of Rs. 50,000 and you do an insurance of Rs. 5 crore, then first we refuse them … because before doing anything… we also think…Sir we also have to think … we refuse … if this is the case same with … you go directly to the insurance company and ask them… they will do it… they have young kids sitting at their front counters … that will create problem for you in future… so what I was suggesting you… you ask for Rs. 1 crore… we cannot do that much amount with your conditions… whatever be the smaller amounts… we will do that).” So we could invest our crore in smaller chunks.

She suggests to invest in the names of the two kids only. Otherwise, you will have to reveal the source of money, specifying how you got this much.

We will be in a bind if have to reveal it, says the reporter. You know how the politicians rake in money by fashioning scams.

Suggests Reddy: “Toh hum kya karenge … utna amount nahin karenge (Then, what we will do … we will not do that much of amount).” She is ready to accept the proposed investment in smaller chunks.

She asks how much the politician’s wife’s ITR shows as it will be useful for the investment. It shows quite big an income, says the reporter. About Rs. 10 lakh per annum.

Reddy explains why ITR is important: “ITR ke hisaab se chalenge… kyunki we have to acknowledge that…ITR hum nahin poochenge but humko batana hai (We will go according to the ITR… becasuse we have to acknowledge that… although we will not ask for ITR, we have to tell it).

But we don’t want to show it, argues the reporter.

Reddy says:“Agar waisa hai to hum bina show karke jitna hai… utna hi karenge(If that is the case then we will do whatever is possible without showing it …only that much).”

Fine! But our main aim is whatever we are investing with you should become white, the reporter tell her again.

Reddy reassures: “Jab bhi hota hai white hota hai (Whenever it happens it happens in white).” She then assures him the ITR will never be disclosed.

The meeting ends with a promise to take it forward in the evening.

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