NPAs at record high: parliamentary panel for naming big corporate defaulters

Out of the Rs6.8 trillion of non-performing assets of public sector banks, a whopping 70% are those of big corporate houses, public accounts committee chief K.V. Thomas said


The PAC has suo motu chosen to examine the issue of bad loans of public sector banks as these were rising and needed to be checked, public accounts committee chief K.V. Thomas said. Photo: Mint
The PAC has suo motu chosen to examine the issue of bad loans of public sector banks as these were rising and needed to be checked, public accounts committee chief K.V. Thomas said. Photo: Mint

New Delhi: As non-performing assets (NPAs) of public sector banks soared to a staggering Rs6.8 trillion, the chairman of a key parliamentary panel on Sunday favoured naming and shaming corporate houses which default on repayment of bank loans.

Public accounts committee (PAC) chief K.V. Thomas hopes "naming and shaming" such corporate houses may help financial institutions get back their money.

Out of the Rs6.8 trillion of non-performing assets of public sector banks, a whopping 70% are those of big corporate houses, Thomas said, adding hardly one percent of it constitutes loans to farmers.

"In case of farmers or small traders, banks act strong and they go to their houses to recover money. They even get published their name and photograph in newspapers. But when it comes to corporate houses, they don't reveal the names. "We intend to give names of such big defaulters who owe money to banks in our reports to be submitted in Lok Sabha before the end of budget session," he told PTI.

ALSO READ: Looking beyond the idea of a bad bank

The five-week-long second half of the budget session is scheduled to begin from 9 March.

The PAC has suo motu chosen to examine the issue of bad loans of public sector banks as these were rising and needed to be checked, he said. "We have met chairmen and managing directors (CMDs) of a few public sector banks, including Indian Overseas Bank, Indian Bank and Allahabad Bank, among others, to discuss the issue. We plan to meet other CMDs too," he said.

Thomas said the banks have told the committee that big corporate houses had taken loans for various infrastructure related works in sectors like civil aviation, energy and road construction, among others.

"Banks need to answer as to what was the guarantee taken by them before giving such big amounts as loan to corporate houses and what action is being taken by them. The rise in bad loans worries me. "We will be giving our detailed report on NPAs to Parliament. The report is likely to be submitted before the end of the budget session," he said.

As of 30 September, 2016, the NPAs declared by various scheduled commercial banks stood at a stupendous Rs6,65,864 crore, according to the government's reply in the Rajya Sabha last month.

According to the finance ministry data, the NPAs of the country's largest lender State Bank of India is Rs97,356 crore, followed by Rs54,640 crore of Punjab National Bank and Rs44,040 crore of Bank of India.

Bank of Baroda has NPAs of Rs35,467 crore, Canara Bank Rs31,466 crore, Indian Overseas Bank Rs31,073 crore, Union Bank of India Rs27,891 crore, IDBI Bank Limited Rs25,973 crore, Central Bank of India Rs25,718 crore, Allahabad Bank Rs18,852 crore and Oriental Bank of Commerce Rs18,383 crore. PTI

More From Livemint