As a part of celebrating the 51th anniversary of bank nationalization, the All India Bank Employees' Association (AIBEA) on Saturday released a list of 2,426 borrowers who have wilfully defaulted on their bank loans of over Rs 1.47 trillion.
According to AIBEA, State Bank of India (SBI) leads the table of 17 public sector banks with 685 wilful defaulters with an outstanding of Rs 43,887 crore.
The SBI is followed by Punjab National Bank (defaulters 325, default Rs 22,370 crore), Bank of Baroda (defaulters 355, Rs 14,661 crore), Bank of India (defaulters 184, Rs 11,250 crore), Central Bank of India (defaulters 69, Rs 9,663 crore) and others.
The Punjab & Sind Bank has only six wilful defaulters who defaulted Rs 255 crore.
According to AIBEA, the top 33 defaulters account for Rs 32,737 crore (outstanding and written off).
Releasing the list AIBEA General Secretary C.H. Venkatachalam in a statement said the only major problem faced by our banks is the bulging and alarmingly increasing bad loans by the private companies and corporates.
"If tough action is taken on them and money is recovered, our banks can play a bigger role in national development. The present practice of giving concessions to the defaulters and burdening the banking public with lesser rate of interest on their savings and increase in service charges should be stopped," Venkatachalam said.
Included in the wilful defaulters list are companies like Gitanjali Gems Limited, Kingfisher Airlines, Ruchi Soya Industries Limited, Winsome Diamonds And Jewellery Limited, Sterling Biotech Limited and others.
It was on July 19, 1969, 14 major private banks were nationalised by the Indian government, from when these banks started chartering a new path with social orientation, he said.
According to Venkatachalam, the number of bank branches has grown to 1,56,349 now from 8,200 in 1969. The priority sector lending is at 40 per cent now as against zero per cent prior to nationalisation.
He also said the deposits and advances which were at Rs 5,000 crore and 3,500 crore in July 1969, has now grown to Rs 138.50 lakh crore and Rs 101.83 lakh crore respectively.