cobrapost |
April 27, 2013


Development Credit Bank, Case 1: R. Singh, Branch Manager, East Delhi

If the junior banker here is of little help, his boss is no stickler for rules and would go out of way to help you launder your black money. Says R. Singh: “Yahan branch level pe kuch cheezein hoti hain jo hum manage kar sakte hain (There are certain things at the branch level that we can manage).”

As soon as Cobrapost journalist walks into the branch of Development Credit Bank and meets Ranjit, a banker, at his desk, he comes straight to our dirty proposition: We want to invest Rs. 80 lakh for a long term, in three names. There should be no TDS.

Ranjit doesn’t seem to understand the euphemism and clarifies that there is TDS in all kinds of investment. He tells us about investing in FDs but we dislike the idea. He then tells us to break down Rs. 80 lakh in the names of the three individuals and invest it in an insurance policy.

Ranjit indicates that there is no other alternative but to show the ITR: “Dus–dus lakh bhi daalte ho toh bhi ITR show karna padega (Even if you put in Rs. 10 lakh each you will have to show the ITR).” So the tax will be deducted.

We want to invest our money in some long-term scheme, we make our intention loud and clear, so that the money becomes white.

But Ranjit won’t budge from his stance telling us we would have to show ITR even if we invested in insurance.

Our reporter asks how we would route the money. Should we do it through an account?

Opening an account with his bank won’t help, either, for we would be required to disclose the source of income. Although Ranjit suggests he would think of an alternative way, he has little to suggest.

Now, we ask him if he could provide us a big locker to safe keep Rs. 5–7 crore in bills of 500, we are expecting in February. We raise the stakes.

Here is help at hand at least on this count, as Ranjit assures us: “Haan … arre koi dikkat nahi ho jayega.”

Although he agrees to keep our black money in his bank locker, Ranjit play safe, and refuses to give us a counting machine to count our crores.
Finding Ranjit of little help on almost all counts, we seek to meet his boss. Ranjit gets upset
and ignores our reporter for a long time, taking a phone call.
Our reporter gets up and moves into the Branch Manager R. Singh’s office. Here, he apprises Singh of his proposition: A politician of stature wants to make a big investment. It has to be done in the names of three individuals: me, my wife and the politician’s wife.
We ask Singh if we could invest in insurance. Singh suggests that it would be a good idea to invest in Birla Sun Life Insurance, a private insurance company of the Aditya Birla conglomerate. Development Credit Bank has a tie-up with Birla Sun Life and conducts its insurance business through it.
Singh also suggests us to invest in some mutual funds. Would the money we invest in it be converted into white too?
Singh assures: “Nahin, white wala toh ismein bhi hai wo toh koi problem nahin hai (No, this also helps you make it [your money] white … there’s no problem).”
Returns should be good, says our reporter, and there should be no TDS. Most important, it should all come in white.
Singh confirms what we are looking for: “Nahin, TDS nahin hai… complete white ho jayega (No, there is no TDS … it will become completely white).”
How would the money be routed, through an account?
Singh recommends us to open an account with his bank to route the money into the investment plans: “Account khol ke zyada theek rehta hai kyunki ECS lag jaata hai apne aap automatically aata rehta hai (Opening an account is better because money is automatically transferred through ECS).”
We are expecting Rs. 5–7 crore in March. Would you provide us a big locker to park all the cash? We ask the senior banker for another favour.
Singh agrees to give us lockers of medium and small sizes as he doesn’t have big ones. For a bigger one, he would need time to arrange, and he might be able to get us more than one locker instead.
Unlike Ranjit, his junior, Singh is no stickler for rules and is not concerned much about the documentation, like the ITR. What he wants is we invest with his bank: “Toh aapko kahin aur nahin jaana jab bhi aapko paisa dena hai aapne humare paas hi aana hai …branch yahin pe rahegi humesha …aap kabhi bhi aa kar kabhi bhi layenge hum le lenge (So, you don’t need to go anywhere … whenever you need give money you come to us only … the branch will always be here … you can bring [money] anytime, we will accept it).”
What we call it? Banking at your convenience!
And we are welcome even at late hours, as he says: “Waise koi baat nahin … aap padosi hain toh aap late bhi aa sakte hain (It doesn’t matter … you are our neighbor so you can come here at late hours as well).”
Would there be any problem if we route Rs. 20–30 lakh cash through the new accounts? Our reporter asks to seek assurance from Singh.
Singh reassures us: “Koi problem nahin (There’s no problem).”
What you are suggesting should not be a new method, our reporter tells the banker. It should be completely safe.
Singh replies confidently: “Yahan branch level pe kuch cheezein hoti hain jo hum manage kar sakte hain (There are certain things at the branch level that we can manage).”
We now come to the last of our demands.
The minister’s wife goes to England quite frequently. We want to send some of the crores to be kept in the bank locker to England.
Replies Singh with nonchalance: “Koi baat nahin aap detail de dena hum bhijwa denge (No problem … you can give us the details … we will send the money).”
Ranjit has joined his boss, Singh, now. Singh gives instructions to Ranjit on how to move forward to help us invest our unaccounted cash and make if clean.
The meeting comes to an end with a promise to meet again to take the deal forward.

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