While public sector banks (PSBs) continue to refuse to share names of big defaulters citing 'confidentiality of customer data', information shared by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), reveals that just 312 big defaulters owe more than 76% or Rs1,41,583.50 crore of the total bad loans.
According to data obtained under Right to Information (RTI) and analysis done by Pune-based Vivek Velankar, as of 31 December 2021, nearly 2,237 wilful defaulters have an outstanding of Rs1,84,863.32 crore. While RBI had shared a list of names of 2,278 wilful defaulters, there are 41 borrowers against whom there is zero outstanding.
Mr Velankar also asked for the names of all wilful defaulters of PSBs, who have a bad loan of Rs1 crore and above.
"The information shared by RBI shows that there are 312 big wilful defaulters who have defaulted on loans of Rs100 crore and more. Their collective outstanding comes to nearly Rs1.41 lakh crore. While banks claim that they have filed cases against all these defaulters to recover the loan, the ground reality is quite shocking. We have seen how PSBs are made to take a big haircut while recovering bad loans," he says.
As per the data provided by RBI, several big defaulters have obtained loans from different PSBs which have now become bad debt. "I found 11 defaulters have obtained a loan from State Bank of India (SBI) and other PSBs. These wilful defaulters are ABG Shipyard Ltd, Concast Steel & Power Ltd, EMC Ltd, Rohit Ferro-Tech Ltd, Best Foods Ltd, Coastal Projects Ltd, Wind World (I) Ltd, Era Infra Engineering Ltd, BS Ltd, Rei Agro Ltd and Raj Rayon Industries Ltd," Mr Velankar says.
These 11 big wilful defaulters have a bad debt worth Rs37,108 crore, including Rs11,755 crore obtained from SBI and Rs25,353 crore from other PSBs.
Mr Velankar, who is also president of Pune-based Sajag Nagrik Manch, says, "How were these wilful defaulters allowed to borrow money from different public sector banks-PSBs? For a common borrower, who wants to take a loan of a few lakh rupees, banks ask for several things, including securities. Further, if you have obtained a loan from one, other lenders are reluctant even to accept the loan application from common customers. So how did these big wilful defaulters obtain these loans? Will there be any investigation in these cases?"
"Especially when the loan amount is beyond the stipulated limit, the decision to grant a loan is taken by the director board of the bank. In a way, the board is also responsible for these defaults. Who will fix the responsibility and take the board to task for sanctioning loans to wilful defaulters? Will agencies like the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and Directorate of Enforcement (ED) ever probe these big defaults," he asks.
Information provided by RBI shows that there are 26 big defaulters who have outstanding loans of Rs1,000 crore and above. These wilful defaulter groups, together, owe Rs60,425.71 crore to PSBs.
The next group on the list is wilful defaulters with an outstanding of Rs500 crore to Rs1,000 crore. There are 40 companies on this list with bad debts worth Rs28,297.99 crore.
There are 246 wilful defaulters who have an outstanding between Rs100 crore to Rs500 crore. This group of defaulters owe Rs52,859.80 crore to PSBs.
The highest number of wilful defaulters have an outstanding between Rs1 crore and Rs100 crore. This list has 1,914 companies who, together, have bad debt of Rs43,273.86 crore.
The list shared by RBI also has names of 11 wilful defaulters whose outstanding is less than Rs1 crore. Also, there are 41 wilful defaulters on the list, who have zero outstanding, but RBI has included their names in the list shared with Mr Velankar.
Here are the names of wilful defaulters of PSBs...