Whenever anyone questions bad loans of scheduled commercial banks, the Union government and banking regulator often claims that written off does not mean that there would not be a recovery of dues. However, data available in the public domain from TransUnion CIBIL Ltd (CIBIL
) shows that as of 31 March 2022, there were 30,359 records amounting to a whopping Rs8,58,396.32 (Rs8.58 lakh) crore for the suit filed accounts for defaults worth Rs1 crore and above. The amount is more than three times higher than 17,236 accounts, with the lawsuit filed cases amounting to Rs2,58,266.97 (Rs2.58 lakh) crore recorded on 31 March 2017.
Data obtained from CIBIL shows that as of 31 March 2022, there were 30,359 records amounting to Rs8.58 lakh crore spread over 32 states. Maharashtra tops the list of the suit filed cases for defaults of Rs1 crore and above with 7,954 accounts worth Rs3.82 lakh crore. It is followed by New Delhi and Telangana. New Delhi had 2,862 records for lawsuits filed for recovery of Rs1,14,063.68 crore, while Telangana had suits filed in 1,319 records for recovering dues worth Rs59,082.57 crore.
As of 31 March 2017, there were 17,236 records with CIBIL showing an outstanding amount of Rs2.58 lakh crore. Maharashtra was at the top of the list with 4,726 suits filed records involving an amount of Rs81,023.78 crore. It was followed by Delhi and West Bengal with 1,507 and 1,795 records with outstanding of Rs28,817 crore and Rs26937.83 crore, respectively.
Irrespective of big claims by the government of having recovered overdue from corporate defaulters, where are things going wrong, asks Devidas Tuljapurkar, general secretary of Maharashtra State Bank Employees Federation. "We have debt recovery tribunal (DRT), insolvency and bankruptcy code (IBC), securitisation and reconstruction of financial assets and enforcement of securities interest (SARFAESI) act, for debt recovery. However, banks are made to sacrifice for one-time settlements (OTS), haircuts and write-offs. Yet the figure (Rs8.58 lakh crore) remains so huge."
"The Union government should come out with a white paper on non-performing assets (NPAs), write-offs and movement of NPA in banking. It should also evolve a mechanism to fix the accountability of those who are responsible for the NPA menace. Those corporate defaulters should be weeded out of the banking system. This is an abuse of the common person's hard-earned savings and scares the government's financial resources. Who will do it? Who can do it? The savers and common person have to rise to the occasion and stand for 'people's money for people's welfare," he added.
In March this year, Dr Bhagwat Karad, minister of state for finance, told the Rajya Sabha that public sector banks (PSBs) had effected a total recovery of Rs3,12,987 crore in NPA accounts and written-off loans from FY18-19 to FY20-21. As a result of the Union government's recognition, resolution, recapitalisation and reforms strategy, they have since declined to Rs5.60 lakh crore as of 31 December 2021, the minister stated.
According to the CIBIL data, as of 31 March 2022, State Bank of India (SBI) and its associate banks have an outstanding of Rs1.60 lakh crore from 4,717 suits filed cases.
Public sector banks (PSBs) Bank of Baroda, Bank of India, Bank of Maharashtra, Canara Bank, Central Bank of India, IDBI Bank Ltd, Indian Overseas Bank, Punjab And Sind Bank, Punjab National Bank, UCO Bank, and Union Bank of India have filed 17,264 cases to recover an outstanding of Rs4.30 lakh crore.
Private sector lenders have reported 6,897 suit filed cases to recover Rs1.32 lakh crore from defaulters who owe Rs1 crore and more. Foreign banks too have lawsuit filed in 572 accounts for recovering Rs13,669.32 crore.
About 20 cooperative banks have filed 442 suits to recover Rs3,599.10 crore from defaulters.
Financial institutions, including Export-Import Bank of India, General Insurance Corporation of India, IFCI Ltd, Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC), SIDBI, Specified Undertaking of Unit Trust of India and UTI Mutual Fund, have reported 467 accounts as a default of more than Rs1 crore, amounting to Rs1.18 lakh crore, data from CIBIL shows.