Money & Banking

Finally, RBI discloses list of large wilful defaulters

Our Bureau Mumbai | Updated on November 21, 2019 Published on November 21, 2019

After repeatedly blocking requests to reveal the names of large wilful defaulters in the country, the Reserve Bank of India has finally made the list public.

In response to an application filed by an online news site, the RBI has disclosed the names of 30 wilful defaulters who collectively account for ₹50,000 crore of outstanding dues. The list includes entities such as Gitanjali Gems, Ruchi Soya, ABG Shipyard, Kingfisher Airlines, Rotomac Global, Zoom Developers, Deccan Chronicle Holdings, Winsome Diamonds, REI Agro, Siddhi Vinayak Logistics and Surya Pharmaceutical Ltd. Some of these companies are already under the NCLT-led insolvency process.

According to the RBI guidelines, a wilful default is deemed to have occurred if the borrower has not met repayment obligations despite having the capacity to do so. The central bank had so far declined to reveal the names of such defaulters even after the Supreme Court gave a direction.

In 2018, the Central Information Commission had asked the government and the RBI to disclose the list of wilful defaulters. In April, the Supreme Court granted the central bank an opportunity to disclose the list saying that the RBI is in contempt of this court by withholding disclosure of such information.

Late in the day

The disclosure by the RBI now, although significant, could be a little late because some of these companies are already under the NCLT-led insolvency process. In addition, banks themselves have been proactively disclosing names of large defaulting accounts. For example, in June, State Bank of India revealed the names of 10 large firms, declaring them as ‘wilful defaulters’.

The biggest defaulter on that list was Spanco Ltd, followed by Calyx Chemical & Pharmaceuticals Ltd.

According to data published by Transunion Cibil, wilful default by over 11,000 borrowers had surged by ₹43,000 crore to ₹1,61,213 crore during the 12-month period ended December 2018. Wilful default had soared by ₹1,21,700 crore from just ₹39,504 crore in March 2014.

Published on November 21, 2019
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