NEW DELHI: Amid concerns over growing non-performing assets of banks, Jayant Sinha, Minister of State for Finance told Parliament on Friday that wilful defaulters owe over Rs 64,300 crore to public sector banks and around 115 cases have emerged where bank officials have connived with the borrowers.
Giving details of wilful defaulters who have borrowed more than Rs 25 lakh from various public sector banks, Sinha said there have been 7,265 such defaulters at the end of September. The total defaulted loans by them stood at Rs 64,334.59 crore and FIRs have been filed in 1,624 cases involving a total amount of Rs 16,601.90 crore, the minister added.
Recently, the State Bank of India declared the promoter of defunct airline Kingfisher, Vijay Mallya as a ‘wilful defaulter’. The biggest implication of a wilful defaulter tag is that banks will not lend to any business associated with a wilful defaulter.
In order to bring down the non-performing assets, Sinha said that swift action on multiple dimensions is being taken to address the issue. “The government has taken a comprehensive multi-dimension approach to deal with the NPA problem.”
Asked about the action taken by the government with regard to loan default by grounded Kingfisher Airlines, the minister said all relevant actions were being taken and investigation is going on.
Though Mallya owes over Rs 7,000 crore to lenders, at a recent effort by banks to auction some of the Kingfisher assets the reserve price of these assets was set at just Rs 65 lakh. This means chances are that banks will recover only a minuscule fraction of their several thousand crores of dues even if they manage to sell these assets.