A recent Parliament reply disclosed that scheduled commercial banks have written off loans worth about Rs 10 lakh crore in the last five financial years.
According to a reply by the Finance Ministry, during 2021-22, the write-off amount came down to Rs 1,57,096 crore compared to Rs 2,02,781 crore in 2020-21.
As per the written reply by Minister of State for Finance, Bhagwat K. Karad in Rajya Sabha, during 2019-20, the write-off was worth Rs 2,34,170 crore, down from Rs 2,36,265 crore, the highest in five years recorded in 2018-19. During 2017-18, the write-off by banks stood at Rs 1,61,328 crore.
In all, bank loans to the tune of Rs 9,91,640 crore have been written off in the last five years — 2017-18 to 2021-22.
He also said that “scheduled commercial banks (SCBs) and all Indian financial institutions report certain credit information of all borrowers having aggregate credit exposure of Rs 5 crore and above to RBI under its Central Repository of Information on Large Credits database.
As per the data, the highest number of 2,840 wilful defaulters reported during 2020-21 was followed by 2,700 in 2021-22. The number of wilful defaulters stood at 2,207 at the end of March 2019 that rose to 2,469 in 2019-20.
Gitanjali Gems topped the list of 25 wilful defaulters followed by Era Infra Engineering, Concast Steel and Power, REI Agro Ltd and ABG Shipyard Ltd.
Similarly, Mehul Choksi’s company Gitanjali Gems owes banks a whopping Rs 7,110 crore while Era Infra Engineering owes Rs 5,879 crore and Concast Steel and Power Ltd Rs 4,107 crore.
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