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Dues recovery: Banks invoke Sarfaesi against telecom infrastructure provider GTL

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Following delays in transfer of loans of telecom infrastructure provider GTL to the bad bank, lenders have now invoked the Securitisation and Reconstruction of Financial Assets and Enforcement of Security Interest (Sarfaesi) Act to recover their dues. The recovery action has been initiated by IDBI Bank on behalf of lenders, whose total exposure to GTL stood at Rs 7,250 crore as of December 31, 2021.

Bankers FE spoke to said that it makes more sense to pursue recovery by all means possible rather than to wait for the full operationalisation of the National Asset Reconstruction Company (NARCL).

“It has been a long time since the original list of assets was drawn up. It’s only natural for banks to pursue all means at their disposal to recover what they can,” said a senior banker. Similarly, other accounts that were intended for sale to NARCL in the first tranche have been appearing on the lists of non-performing assets (NPAs) circulated by banks for sale to asset reconstruction companies (ARCs).

Names like VOVL, Jaypee Infratech, Meenakshi Energy, Consolidated Construction Consortium, Sion Panvel Tollways, Supreme Panvel Indapur Tollway, Helios Photo Voltaic, Chhapra-Hajipur Expressways, Mittal Corp, Worlds Window Impex and SSA International feature on the list of 168 accounts State Bank of India (SBI) has drawn up for sale to ARCs during the current year. These 11 accounts owe SBI an aggregate Rs 9,186 crore.

Bankers said that the original list of 15 assets with an exposure of Rs 50,000 crore is bound to undergo revisions. In May, Mint had reported, citing unnamed sources, that 20% of the NPAs identified for transfer to the NARCL, amounting to Rs 40,000 crore, had already been resolved.

Meanwhile, NARCL is counting on its sole bid for the loans of Rainbow Papers to avert a renewal of its ARC licence, which was valid till June 30. It has written to the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to consider the bid as a mark of operationalisation of the bad bank. It is not yet clear if the central bank has responded to the request.



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