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PSU banks slack in acting against wilful defaulters

PSU banksCases of wilful defaults are on the rise, with the number of such defaults in public sector banks (PSBs) reaching 7,265 until the middle of the current financial year.

Banks claim these wilful defaults involve a whopping Rs 64,334.59 crore, though the total number of FIRs filed against the defaulters account for only 22 per cent of the total cases, according to a report appearing in the financial daily, The Economic Times.

The State Bank of India (SBI), the country’s largest lender, has been one of the slowest in filing FIRs, by registering only 13 cases involving Rs 13.10 crore, though it has identified 1,164 cases of wilful default, with the total outstanding loan amount of Rs 11,705 crore.

The Canara Bank leads the pack by filing 225 FIRs, with an outstanding amount of Rs 1,031 crore. The public sector lender has 480 cases of wilful default involving Rs 3,209 crore.

However, the Corporation Bank has filed just four cases with credit dues of Rs 11.40 crore. These FIRs are against 126 wilful defaulters sitting over loans of Rs 2,356.98 crore.

It is followed by IDBI Bank 0.42 per cent, which has filed five cases against wilful defaulters with an outstanding amount of Rs 332.76 crore. However, the bank has identified 70 wilful defaulters with loans of Rs 1,982.80 crore.

Wilful defaulters constitute about 20 per cent of the gross non-performing assets (NPAs) of the state-owned banks.

In order to check incidence of wilful default, RBI has tightened the norms and made it clear that promoter of the defaulting company cannot escape from his responsibility even if he is not a whole-time director.

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