Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Friday said Punjab National Bank (PNB) did not engage in any misappropriation of pension and gratuity funds in the past and no amount was taken from the trusts' account.
The minister was responding to a question asked by BJP MP Kirit Somaiya if the government was aware of the misappropriation of the Employees' Pension Fund Trust and Gratuity Fund by PNB in 2016-17, and, if so, the MP also sought details.
"PNB has informed that there is no misappropriation of funds and that the pension fund and gratuity fund trusts are separate entities and the bank is not authorised to operate the trusts' accounts or transfer any amount from the trust," Jaitley said in a written reply to the Lok Sabha.
The bank has further said that adequate funds for pension and gratuity are maintained as per the actuarial valuation report without any exception, that the same is in strict compliance of accounting standards, Jaitley said.
PNB has informed that these funds are duly audited by the bank's statutory central auditors every year, Jaitley added.
"PNB has also apprised that no amount was taken back or withdrawn from the trusts' account. With regard to placement of the matter before the bank's audit committee or board (ACB), the bank has further apprised that the bank's annual financial accounts for the financial year 2016-17 are audited by the bank's statutory central auditors and have already been approved by the ACB and the board," Jaitley said.
The bank has also reported that it has initiated steps to further lay the reference received as well before the ACB, he said.