Rs 76,600 crore in SBI loot written off : Different yardsticks for rich and poor?

Mumbai: The bad loan scenario is getting murkier and murkier. It is understood that the State Bank of India, the country’s largest bank, has written off bad loans worth Rs 76,600 crore of 220 defaulters who owed more than Rs 100 crore each.

It is clear that the banks have a very different yardstick when it comes to the rich and the mighty. An individual who defaults on a petty EMI is hounded by recovery agents, day in and out, while the affluent seem to be getting away with daylight loot.

As of March 31, 2019, the SBI has declared as unrecoverable outstanding worth Rs 37,700 crore that 33 borrowers, with loans of Rs 500 crore and more, owed to it.

This information, which has been furnished by the RBI to CNN-News18 under the Right to Information Act, gives the bank-wise break-up where loans worth more than Rs 100 crore and Rs 500 crore were written off as of March 31 this year.

A total of Rs 2.75 lakh crore has been written off for entities that borrowed Rs 100 crore or more from scheduled commercial banks. Also, Rs 67,600 crore was declared as bad debt for loans of Rs 500 crore and more.

Rs 76,600 crore in SBI loot written off : Different yardsticks for rich and poor?

As many as 980 borrowers have been listed by the RBI whose debts of more than Rs 100 crore each had to be written off by banks. Of these, 220 accounts – more than one-fifth of the total number – belonged to the SBI.

An average of Rs 348 crore was waived off in respect of each such account. Of the 71 total accounts reported as having defaulted on loans of over and above Rs 500 crore each, the SBI’s share turned out to be 33 – 46% of the total.

Similarly, as of March 31, Punjab National Bank had waived off debts of at least Rs 100 crore each in respect of 94 borrowers.

The gross amount came to Rs 27,024 crore, with an average of Rs 287 crore per account. The bank also wrote off loans of Rs 500 crore or more for the 12 biggest defaulters, amounting to a total of Rs 9,037 crore.

While the SBI and the PNB topped the list among the public sector banks, the IDBI Bank is at the top among private banks. The IDBI also came third among all the scheduled commercial banks in declaring bad debts of Rs 100 crore or more.

The IDBI had 71 borrowers of Rs 100 crore and more, with a total outstanding of Rs 26,219 crore written off. The Canara Bank, too, had 63 accounts with outstanding of Rs 100 crore and more, and another seven accounts with borrowings of Rs 500 crore and more. INPUT/GRAPHIC NEWS 18.

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