News Column

India's top defaulting loan rangers

May 7, 2014

THE All India Bank Employees Association ( AIBEA) has blown the cover off the secret list of the country's top 406 loan defaulters who together owe public sector banks a whopping ` 70,300 crore. Kingfisher Airlines top the list with ` 2,673 crore.

"As a depositor, the public has the right to know the wilful defaulters," Vishwas Utagi, vice- president, AIBEA, said at a press conference here on Tuesday night.

According to AIBEA, total non- performing assets ( NPAs) in public sector banks till September 2013 touched ` 2.36 lakh crore. Bad loans restructured and shown as good loans amount to another ` 3.25 lakh crore. "This is public money and it has to be recovered for the benefit of the public," he told journalists while releasing the list.

Utagi added that the NPAs registered by all public sector banks in March 2008 was ` 39,000 crore.

As the Reserve Bank of India ( RBI) and the Central government were not forthcoming in publishing the list of bank loan defaulters, AIBEA has released the list in public interest, Utagi said. AIBEA also demanded that the government release the list of major loan defaulters and make loan- recovery norms stringent so that action under criminal procedure can be taken against wilful defaulters.

Bad loans constituted by the top four defaulters in public sector banks is around ` 23,000 crore. Fresh bad loans in public sector banks in the last seven years is ` 4.95 lakh crore.

If top bank executives are responsible for the increase in NPAs, there should be an investigation against them and, if found guilty, they should be punished, the Association said.

Utagi said that AIBEA would publish a larger statewise list of about 3,000 bad loan accounts that have defaulted ` 1 crore and above each. Utagi accused RBI of not doing enough to get depositors' money back from wilful defaulters.

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Source: Mail Today (India)