Canara Bank: Rs47,310 Crore Write Off in 8 Years; Just 19% Recovery, Latest PSB Loot
Canara Bank is the latest to join other big public sector banks (PSBs) that have written off bad loans worth thousands of crores of rupees and recovered paltry amounts from big defaulters.
Like other PSBs, Canara Bank also refused to share this information as well as names of defaulters under the Right to Information (RTI) Act and instead asked the applicant to check its annual reports. 
Data shared by Pune-based RTI activist Vivek Velankar shows that during the past eight-year period from FY12-13 to FY19-20, Canara Bank wrote off a total of Rs47,310 crore while recovering just 19% or Rs8,901 crore from defaulters.  
As happened with other PSBs that we have reported so far, Canara Bank too used vague reasons (privacy) for not sharing information like names of big defaulters with a bad loan of Rs100 crore and above. In the reply to the RTI, the Bank says, "Information sought is the personal information of the concerned and if disclosed would invade the privacy of those concerned and its disclosure does not have any relationship with public interest or activity and is exempted under section 8(1)(j) of the RTI Act."
An aggrieved Mr Velankar, who is also president of the Sajag Nagrik Manch, asks, "When a common borrower defaults, the same banks publish his name and all details through advertisements in newspapers. Then why do they want to keep names of big defaulters hidden under the privacy cause? Why doesn’t the 'privacy' clause apply while publicising names of common borrowers?" 
In several judgements, the central information commission (CIC) had ruled that, to qualify for the exemption under Section 8(1)(j) of the RTI Act, the information must satisfy certain criteria, such as personal information and public interest. 
Ordinarily, the adjective 'personal' is attributed to that which applies to an individual and not to an institution or a corporate. Therefore, it flows that 'personal' cannot be related to institutions, organisations or corporates, especially publicly listed entities with a large shareholding of retail investors.
Hence, Section 8(1)(j) of the RTI Act cannot be applied when the information concerns institutions, organisations or corporates.
Former central information commissioner Shailesh Gandhi had observed in a judgement, “...disclosure of information, which is routinely collected by the public authority and provided by the public servants, cannot be construed as an invasion of the privacy of an individual and must be provided to an applicant under the RTI Act."
In the case of Canara Bank, the information on loan write offs, recovery and all other details like names of borrowers are collected and then reported to the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) as statutory obligation. In the circumstances, Canara Bank has no right to withhold this information under any Sections of RTI Act. Yet, the bank has refused to share names of big defaulters with Mr Velankar. 
Technically speaking, when debts are written off, they are removed as assets from the balance sheet because the bank does not expect to recover payment. This practice is frowned upon by experts but is routinely done by banks as part of their tax management clean-up process. 
In contrast, when a bad debt is written down, some of the bad debt value remains as an asset because the bank expects to recover it. However, as State Bank of India (SBI), Bank of Baroda (BoB), Bank of Maharashtra (BoM), Union Bank of India (UBI), IDBI Bank, Punjab National Bank (PNB) and Indian Overseas Bank (IOB) have shown, most of the times, there is no recovery or negligible recovery for the amounts written off.    
As in the cases of the State Bank of India (SBI), Bank of Baroda (BoB), Bank of Maharashtra (BoM),  Union Bank of India (UBI), IDBI Bank , PNB and IOB that have been reported by Moneylife, this is one more example of massive ‘technical’ write-off with minuscule recoveries, leading to frequent recapitalisation of banks with the taxpayers’ money. 
Such write-offs also debunk the aggressive posturing by the government and policy-makers about their so-called recovery efforts. 
As reported by Moneylife, Indian Overseas Bank wrote off a massive Rs41,392 crore as technical write-offs in the past eight-year period from FY12-13 to FY19-20. As against these write-offs, the recovery was just 17% or Rs7,253 crore. (Read: Indian Overseas Bank, Another PSB to Write Off Rs41,392 Crore in 8 Years; Recovers Just 17%)
PNB wrote off a massive Rs44,565.59 crore as technical write-offs in a four-year period from FY16-17 to FY19-20 . As against these write-offs, the recovery was just Rs12,027.97 crore. If one were to look at large loans of Rs100 crore and above, the technical write-off in this segment alone is Rs31,966 crore, while the recovery from big defaulters is only 22% at Rs7027.94 crore. (Read: Punjab National Bank Wrote Off Rs31,966 Crore in Past 4 Years; Recovered only 22% from Big Defaulters)
Similarly, IDBI Bank, which became a private sector lender a few months ago, wrote off total bad loans worth Rs45,693 crore but could recover just 8% of it after spending more than Rs29 crore during the past seven years. (Read: IDBI Bank Wrote Off Rs45,693 Crore Bad Loans and Recovered Just 8% in 7 Years)
 Union Bank of India too wrote off bad debt worth Rs26,072.81 crore between FY11-12 and FY19-20 (this information pertains only to loans of over Rs100 crore). 
Bank of Maharashtra has written off bad loans of over Rs7,402 crore in the past, while recovering a paltry 4% in over eight years through recovery efforts. The lender wrote off bad debts worth Rs7,402 crore during four out of the past eight years, while recovering just Rs253.55 crore. (Read: Bank of Maharashtra Writes Off Rs7,100 Crore Bad Loans; Recovers Just 4% in 8 Years)
From 2012 to 2020, BoB had technically written off 97 accounts with bad debts of Rs100 crore and more. These add up to Rs21,476.89 crore over eight years, while recovery in that same period is just 4.91% or Rs1,056.53 crore. (Read: Bank of Baroda Follows SBI, Writes Off Rs21,474 Crore in Bad Loans; Recovers only Rs1,057 Crore in Past 8 Years)
 Similarly, from FY12-13 to FY19-20, SBI, the country's largest lender, wrote off bad loans worth Rs1.23 lakh crore of bad debt but recovered a paltry Rs8,969 crore. (Read: SBI Writes Off Rs1.23 Lakh Crore of Bad Debt, Recovers Paltry Rs8,969 Crore in 8 Years!)
3 years ago
Modi government is government of big corporates. So Modi ji stop privatised the banks, PSU, railway, airports because economy of India is very down today. So modi government should help the government PSU, s and government banks by recapitalize.After the last round of mergers of state owned banks. Modiji should supports the banks and PSU, s. So that unemployment among youth can be protected and also protect the serving employees of banks and PSU, s
3 years ago
all is not write off some may have found in to the pockets of LOOTyens, touts and fixers and crony capitalists like Dewan housing Ruias.. Only way to recover is felons be sent to Andeman islands for forced holidays
3 years ago

1. Any ways, the PMO has taken over Fiiance Portfolio for a deep study into wheewithal of World Bank, the US $, the British Pound, and EUROS, etc.
2. It is an open secret to note that Bank Finance is made available at 4.00% PA in the USA, Australia, Singapore & Newzealand, etc. With the creative mindset of Karma Yogi PM, Shri Narendra Modi, the deposit interest is brought down vis-a-vis advance/loan interest rates. Surprisingly, PSBs mobilized INR.20 trillion.
3. To loot the Indian wealth in Trillions & shift it across the borders was a way of life during Congess regime. Congress leadership looted INR.17 quadrillion, which is 45 times more than Modiji's humble plan of mobilizing US$.5 trillion by selling India's Sovereign Bonds. There is a nexus between members of CVC, IBA & CORNERED & BRIBED-UFBU AFFILIATES LED BY CHV , PSB boards/CEOs/CMDs + Duds of UFM, ruling politicians & fugitives, etc. Unless & until the nexus is broken & culprits are booked & punished- though opening a Pandora's box- no future for India.
4. When POs mobilized huge sums of deposits and such sums were utilized by GOI through annual budgets, why can't the deposit moneys be mobilized by PSBs & be utilized by GOI routed throughannual budgets. BJP led NDA has sufficient majority in Parliament.
5. With a single stroke of his pen the PM can do so, in consultation with the accidental PM, DR.Manmohan Singh, A TRUE PATRIOT TOTHE CORE, X RBI GUV. Once the PSB employees'/retirees' issues are brought under the purview PAY COMMISSION, the entire PSB employees/retirees are benefitted.
Replied to saioamshyd comment 3 years ago
Modi Govt is not not in position to send Gandhis to jail but got only Bail as not enough material is available or this collusion between felons and perceived victims
3 years ago
Honest taxpayers are there to bear the burden of written off amount like donkey.
3 years ago
Government of India , RBI and finance department should keep sharp eyes in 12 PSB banks. To run these state owened PSU banks efficiently by recapitalize them. After these lone should be given to the main corporates through making High lavel committee. And law should be strict to recover the lone. There should be CBI enquiry against big defaulters. Privatised the state owened PSU banks is not a solution. Because froud also occured in private banks also. Like Yes banks.
3 years ago
And then Modi has the audacity to tell people about paying taxes. Sorry boss. All these news make me wanna not pay tax and hire a CA just to make sure govt gets nothing from me. As that money will go to some billionaire who will probably waste it on some drugs or prostitute. I might just do that from 2021. Any CA here?
3 years ago
1. How come PSB managements refuse to share the names of big defaulters, as it is grandpa's property of Apex level management[s]. How come RBI extends blanket moral support to PSBs & SBI in violationof SC judgments.?
2. Are we living in Jungle Raj or democracy? Why PMO/UFM are keeping mum to spoil the public confidence in PSs vis-a-vis the image of GOI, ruled by BJP led NDA?
3 years ago
You must show the comparison of Debts written off by Private Banks which i am sure must be extremely miniscule to further expose the PSBs in the way they operate without any accountability. Need of the hour is to Privatize the Banking sector in toto.
3 years ago
sometimes i wonder if there is any purpose paying income tax particularly for those in the salaried sector who are in the high to very high tax bracket
3 years ago
Citizenship should be stripped off for all the directors of the corporate which fail to pay off for the public sector banks
3 years ago
It is game of ‘big’ people and the banks. Simply they will take crores of rupees in the name business from banks and escape. Nothing will happen to them. No law will work , but when it is a ordinary person then total Indian law come in to action.
Take it easy....
3 years ago
Government of India should treat all banks in same way. So if government want some state owened PSU banks to be privatised then it is discrimination among employees. I Suggest the govt of India if they want privatised the PSB banks so all banks including SBI, Bank of Baroda, PNB Banks should also be privatised. If not then no banks should be privatised.
3 years ago
I request the government of India to those PSB Banks are running in losses since 5 to 8 years, should close down and there staff should be merged with other Good PSB. Privatised the Government owned bank is not a solution. So stop privatised the PSB Banks.
3 years ago
Big froud by canara Bank which has not shown big amount written off till today to government. This big written off amount of big corporates, which is now shown through RTI. I request the government of India to why you are save sui banks. Close these banks and adjust there staff in another PSB Banks.
Replied to karan.kabirnagar comment 3 years ago
Entire PSBs are in doldrums.
3 years ago
Reading such stories continuously gives one anger and high BP.
Free Helpline
Legal Credit