Banks write off loans worth Rs 11.17 lakh crore in last 6 years

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NEW DELHI: Banks have written off Rs 11.17 lakh crore bad loans from their books in the last six years till financial year 2021-22, Parliament was informed on Tuesday.

The non-performing assets (NPAs), including those in respect of which full provisioning has been made on completion of four years, are removed from the balance sheet of the bank concerned by way of write-off, Minister of State for Finance Bhagwat Karad said in a written reply.

Banks write off NPAs as part of their regular exercise to clean up their balance sheet, avail tax benefit and optimise capital, he said, adding, the write-off is carried out by the banks in accordance with RBI guidelines and policy approved by their boards.

“As per RBI data, public sector banks (PSBs) and scheduled commercial banks (SCBs) wrote off an aggregate amount of Rs 8,16,421 crore and Rs 11,17,883 crore respectively during the last six financial years,” he said.

With regard to the list, including names of write-offs/defaulters who have defaulted more than Rs 1 crore to the public sector banks, RBI has informed that borrower-wise information on written off loan accounts is not maintained by it, he said.

In reply to another question, Karad said, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has informed that the total number of wilful defaulters each having outstanding loan of Rs 25 lakh and above in public sector banks was 8,045 as on June 30, 2017 and 12,439 as on June 30, 2022; whereas in private sector bank, it was 1,616 as on June 30, 2017 and 2,447 as on June 30, 2022.

He further said, “RBI has informed that as on 30.6.2017, there were 8,744 suit-filed wilful defaulters and 917 non-suit-filed wilful defaulters in public and private sector banks, and as on 30.6.2022, the same stands at 14,485 and 401 respectively.”

The list of suit-filed wilful defaulters of Rs 25 lakh and above is available in the public domain on the websites of the Credit Information Companies (CICs) and that of non-suit filed wilful defaulters is confidential in nature and are not in public domain.

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has informed that 515 fraud cases, including cases related to wilful defaulters, have been recorded since May 1, 2017 under the provisions of Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), 2002.

As on December 15, 2022, he said, in these cases, assets worth Rs 44,992 crore (approx.) have been attached and 39 prosecution complaints have been filed by the Directorate.

Further, as on December 15, 2022, assets worth Rs 19,312.20 crore of wilful defaulters like Vijay Mallya, Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi have been attached since May 2017 by the ED under PMLA, 2002, out of which, assets worth Rs 15,113 crore have been restituted to the public sector banks, he said.

Banks themselves write off NPAs as part of their regular exercise to clean up their balance sheet, avail tax benefit and optimise capital, in accordance with RBI guidelines and policy approved by their boards, he said.

Replying to another question, Karad said Scheduled Commercial Banks have recovered an aggregate amount of Rs 6,59,596 crore, including the recovery of Rs 1,32,036 crore from written-off loan accounts during the last five financial years as per the RBI data.

In reply to another question, he said, the total amount of recapitalisation by the government in banks during last five financial years is Rs 2,90,600 crore, including recapitalisation of Rs 4,557 crore in IDBI Bank Ltd, which has been categorised as private sector bank by RBI on January 21, 2019.

In the financial year 2021-22 and first half of the financial year 2022-23, he said, PSBs have reported aggregate net profit of Rs 66,543 crore and Rs 40,992 crore respectively.

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