Only 4 PSBs disclose defaulters list; 42K cr stuck

Fugitive economic offender and diamond jeweller Mehul Choksi alone accounts for 30.6% or Rs 7,187.7 crore of the Rs 23,500 crore outstanding amount.

Even as the Central Information Commission (CIC) has slapped a show-cause notice on Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Governor Urjit Patel for failure to disclose the list of wilful defaulters, only four public sector banks have revealed names of their defaulters.

The list includes 1,814 wilful defaulters, who collectively owe a whopping outstanding amount of Rs 41,716 crore.

The four banks that have disclosed the list of wilful defaulters are Punjab National Bank (PNB), IDBI, Bank of Baroda (BoB) and Karnataka-based Syndicate Bank. An analysis of the defaulters' list by DH reveals that more than half the outstanding amount is stuck with the top 10 defaulters in case of each bank.

Out of the four banks, PNB has the highest amount outstanding with the wilful defaulters, amounting to Rs 23,469 crore, followed by IDBI (Rs 6,490.60 crore), BoB (Rs 6260.67 crore) and Syndicate Bank (Rs 937 crore).

In terms of the number of wilful defaulters, PNB again leads the way with 1,124 wilful defaulters, followed by Manipal-based Syndicate Bank (219), BoB (177) and IDBI (162).

For PNB, fugitive economic offender and diamond jeweller Mehul Choksi alone accounts for 30.6% or Rs 7,187.7 crore of the Rs 23,500 crore outstanding amount.

Yet another fugitive economic offender, Vijay Mallya owes the PSB an amount Rs 597.44 crore. Mallya owes money to three out of four PSBs that have disclosed the list of wilful defaulters. He owes IDBI (Rs 695.5 crore) and Bank of Baroda (Rs 426.18 crore).

In the case of Syndicate Bank, the top wilful defaulter, Forever Precious Jewellery and Diamonds owes an outstanding amount of Rs 312.7 crore. The top 10 defaulters comprise 79.1% of the bank's Rs 937 crore outstanding amount among the wilful defaulters. One of the bank's top 10 defaulters Vijay Chowdhary of Zoom Developers owes an outstanding amount of Rs 79.8 crore. He also owes Rs 410 crore to PNB and is among top 10 wilful defaulters with the bank.

Vikram Kothari of the Rotomac is the biggest defaulter for the Bank of Baroda with an outstanding amount of Rs 456.6 crore.

In fact, the top 10 defaulters in all the banks constitute almost half of the banks' outstanding amount. 

Total amount

As on September 30, 2017, more than Rs 1.1 lakh crore was owed to the PSBs by over 9,000 accounts classified as wilful defaulters.

Earlier this month, Chief Information Commissioner under the Right to Information (RTI) Act had asked RBI to explain why it is not willing to make public the list of loan defaulters. In response, the apex bank has sought time till November 26 to reply to the notice.

However, most banks, until now haven't publicly named their wilful defaulters. Various senior bank officials told DH that not naming the defaulters gives them a bargaining space to recover the loans.

"We believe in full transparency and it is the right thing to do," a chairman of one of the four banks which has named the defaulters said.

Another banker on condition of anonymity said, "We are in the midst of working out a resolution and we don't want to disclose names at this stage."

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Only 4 PSBs disclose defaulters list; 42K cr stuck

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