In the wake of the Central Information Commission’s notice to the Reserve Bank of India and the Prime Minister’s office over their reluctance to make the names of wilful defaulters public, NDTV found at least four of the top ten public sector banks have already made this information available on their websites.
On November 2, the CIC sent a notice to the RBI and PM Narendra Modi’s office, asking why they should not face action for failing to provide information related to wilful defaulters to the public. The notice cited a previous Supreme Court order, and alleged that they were “dishonouring” the verdict.
RBI guidelines ask Credit Information Agencies to make such information public, rather than individual banks.
An examination of the websites of the 10 biggest public and private sector banks, found none of the private sector banks had any information on wilful defaulters on their website. Only four public sector banks had uploaded the lists of wilful defaulters, with the amounts they owe.
The four — Punjab National Bank, Bank of Baroda, IDBI and Syndicate bank — had outstanding loans of approximately Rs 42,000 crore against 1,815 wilful defaulters.
The Punjab National Bank had listed 1,124 defaulters as of September 2018, who owe a collective Rs 23,470 crore. The list included Mehul Choksi-Nirav Modi companies, which collectively owe around Rs 7,500 crore, and Vijay Mallya’s Kingfisher Airlines, which owes almost Rs 600 crore. Jatin Mehta’s Winsome Diamonds and Jewellery and Forever Precious Jewellery and Diamonds owe Rs 1,648 crore, and a company called Kudos Chemie Ltd owes the bank Rs 1,302 crore
IDBI listed 162 defaulters, who owe Rs 11,050 crore as of October 2018.
The Bank Of Baroda also named 309 wilful defaulters in their March 2018 list. It is owed Rs 6,261 crore. As of June 2018, Syndicate bank had 220 wilful defaulters, who owe Rs 1,159 crore.
The names of defaulters listed by these banks included Vijay Mallya’s Kingfisher Airlines, which owed Rs 426 crore to Bank of Baroda and Rs 696 crore to IDBI. Other defaulters at IDBI include Amtek Auto, EPC Constructions India and S Kumar’s Nationwide, which owe Rs 1,575 crore, Rs 915 crore, and Rs 834 crore respectively. Nitin Sandesara and Chetan Sandesara’s Sterling Biotech also features in IDBI’s wilful defaulter’s list and is said to owe Rs 33 crore.
Rotomac Global owes Bank of Baroda Rs 457 crore, while other wilful defaulters, ABC Cotspin and REI Agro owe Rs 362 crore and Rs 318 crore respectively.
Syndicate bank is owed over Rs 300 crore by their top defaulter. Forever Precious Jewellery and Diamonds owes Rs 308 crore, Zylog systems owes Rs 149.5 crore, Nakoda owes Rs 116.5 and Zoom Developers owes Rs 80 crore to Syndicate Bank.
Other banks such as State Bank of India, Bank of India, Canara Bank, Union Bank of India, Central Bank of India, and Oriental Bank of Commerce had no such information on their websites.
According to data presented in the Lok Sabha in July this year, 9,501 wilful defaulters owed public sector banks approximately Rs 1.3 lakh crore. The data showed that the number of defaulters rose by 14% and the amount they owed also rose by 70% from March 2016 to June 2018.