CHENNAI: Rs 5 trillion. That’s how much wilful defaulters owe to lenders. This staggering number isn’t the only surprise element that online portal Newslaundry, which claimed to have obtained and assessed the Reserve Bank of India’s Wilful Defaulters and Defaulting Borrowers List, has found.
According to the news report, a majority of the top 10 defaulters are state-run companies or firms with political connections. Also, while it’s often presumed that SBI, by virtue of being the country’s largest public sector lender, may have huge bad loans and wilful defaults, unbelievably, state-run LIC, the country’s largest insurer, emerged as the top lender with highest default amount aggregating Rs 65,700 crore (SBI’s stood at Rs 42,340 crore).
Interestingly, it’s not just liquor baron Vijay Mallya, who owes the most among corporate borrowers, but firms like Usha Ispat, owing Rs 16,911 crore too have willfully defaulted on payments worth Rs 5,093 crore. The top 10 corporate defaulters, Newslaundry said in its report, collectively have fallen behind payments worth Rs 56,000 crore to lenders. The list assessed by the portal was reportedly part of Reserve bank of India’s ‘Negative List’ and is updated quarterly to be circulated among banks across the country.
It comes amid RBI’s recent submission to the Supreme Court comprising a list of borrowers and the monies they need to pay back to lenders in a ‘sealed cover.’ Banks have been under the scanner to cut the sour loan debt flab and clean up balance sheets by March, 2017 in order to reflect a ‘true and fair’ picture of their asset position.
Some of the other companies with high debt load include Lloyds Steel with an outstanding amount of Rs 9,478 crore, Hindustan Cables Rs 4,917 crore and Zoom Developers Rs 3,843 crore.