Money & Banking

Number of wilful defaulters has surged 60 per cent in five years

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on June 24, 2019 Published on June 24, 2019

Nirmala Sitharaman, Finance Minister   -  -

₹7,600 crore has been recovered, says FM in Lok Sabha

The number of wilful defaulters has risen 60 per cent in the five years up to FY19, but over ₹7,600 crore has been recovered from these defaulters, the government said on Monday.

In a written answer to a question in the Lok Sabha, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said the total number of wilful defaulters stood at 8,582 at the end of FY19, against 5,349 at the end of FY15.

Responding to a set of questions, Sitharaman and Minister of State for Finance, Anurag Singh Thakur, defined a wilful defaulter as one who has the resources to repay the loan, but does not do so intentionally, and deploys the money for purposes other than intended.

Sitharaman informed the Lower House that public sector banks (PSBs), till March 31, 2019, had filed suits for recovery in 8,121 cases.

Measures taken

In cases involving secured assets, action has been initiated in 6,251 cases under the provisions of the Securitisation and Reconstruction of Financial Assets and Enforcement of Security Interest Act, 2002. Further, in line with RBI instructions, FIRs have been registered in 2,915 cases.

Wilful defaulters are not sanctioned additional facilities by banks or financial institutions, and their entities are debarred from floating new ventures for five years. SEBI has debarred wilful defaulters and companies with wilful defaulters, from accessing capital markets to raise funds, the ministers said.

Sitharaman added that as a result of the government’s ‘4Rs’ strategy of Recognition, Resolution, Recapitalisation and Reforms, gross NPAs of PSBs, per RBI data on global operations, rose to ₹8.95-lakh crore at the end of March 2018, from ₹2.79-lakh crore at the end of March 2015. This declined to ₹8.06-lakh crore at the end of March 2019.

PSBs managed to recover about ₹3.59-lakh crore over four fiscal years (FY16 to FY19), of which ₹1.23-lakh crore was recovered last fiscal.

Black money

The Income-Tax Department has issued notices, under the Black Money Act, in over 380 cases involving undisclosed foreign assets and income valued at over ₹12,260 crore. Further, prosecution has been launched in 68 cases. The tax men also searched 983 groups and made seizures worth ₹1,584 crore in FY19. In FY18, 582 groups were searched and nearly ₹1,000 crore worth of seizures were made.

Responding to another query, the Minister said the number of taxpayers under direct taxes rose to 8.44 crore for assessment year (AY) 2018-19 against 7.42 crore for AY2017-18.

Total net direct tax collection rose to ₹11.37-lakh crore in FY19, against ₹10.02-lakh crore the previous fiscal.

Published on June 24, 2019

A letter from the Editor


Dear Readers,

The coronavirus crisis has changed the world completely in the last few months. All of us have been locked into our homes, economic activity has come to a near standstill. Everyone has been impacted.

Including your favourite business and financial newspaper. Our printing and distribution chains have been severely disrupted across the country, leaving readers without access to newspapers. Newspaper delivery agents have also been unable to service their customers because of multiple restrictions.

In these difficult times, we, at BusinessLine have been working continuously every day so that you are informed about all the developments – whether on the pandemic, on policy responses, or the impact on the world of business and finance. Our team has been working round the clock to keep track of developments so that you – the reader – gets accurate information and actionable insights so that you can protect your jobs, businesses, finances and investments.

We are trying our best to ensure the newspaper reaches your hands every day. We have also ensured that even if your paper is not delivered, you can access BusinessLine in the e-paper format – just as it appears in print. Our website and apps too, are updated every minute, so that you can access the information you want anywhere, anytime.

But all this comes at a heavy cost. As you are aware, the lockdowns have wiped out almost all our entire revenue stream. Sustaining our quality journalism has become extremely challenging. That we have managed so far is thanks to your support. I thank all our subscribers – print and digital – for your support.

I appeal to all or readers to help us navigate these challenging times and help sustain one of the truly independent and credible voices in the world of Indian journalism. Doing so is easy. You can help us enormously simply by subscribing to our digital or e-paper editions. We offer several affordable subscription plans for our website, which includes Portfolio, our investment advisory section that offers rich investment advice from our highly qualified, in-house Research Bureau, the only such team in the Indian newspaper industry.

A little help from you can make a huge difference to the cause of quality journalism!

Support Quality Journalism
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor
You have read 1 out of 3 free articles for this week. For full access, please subscribe and get unlimited access to all sections.