- The Reserve Bank of India(RBI) has said that it has no power to ask banks to share information on customers with third parties including investigative agencies of the government even if it is in the interests of the bank.
- The RBI’s response came on a request by the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence(DRI) which sought RBI’s assistance in obtaining information from two state-owned banks on the alleged overvaluation of coal imports from Indonesia by Indian companies.
- The DRI has alleged that money was being siphoned outside the country and the electricity-generating firms were availing of higher tariff compensation based on artificially inflated cost of the imported coal.
- The RBI said the decision to share information lies with the banks which would be responsible for their actions in case of any dispute.
- While two private banks have shared all information with DRI on the case citing national interest but the government-owned banks have declined to do so citing a confidentiality clause.
- The Directorate of Revenue Intelligence is the apex intelligence and investigative agency for matters relating to violation of the Customs Act.
- DRI functions under the aegis of Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC) in the Department of Revenue of Union Ministry of Finance.
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