Opposition parties in the Rajya Sabha today demanded publication of the names of top 100 loan defaulters and sought to know under whose protection they were “thriving”. Raising the issue through a point of order, Naresh Agarwal (SP) said the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), at a recent meeting of the parliamentary committee, had stated that 12 biggest loan defaults accounted for 25 per cent of the total NPA or bad debt in the country. But the RBI has refused to publish their names, he said, adding if a student or a farmer defaults on loan, his or her name is published. But the big corporate loan defaulters are not being named, he said. “Is Parliament greater or the RBI,” he asked. He demanded that the top 100 loan defaulters should be identified and their named published. The country deserves to know “who these people are and under whose protection are they thriving,” he said. He sought a response from Leader of the House and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, who was present in the House. But Jaitley did not offer any comments. Deputy Chairman P J Kurien said the matter raised is important but not a point of order.
To this, Agarwal said Parliament approves the Budget and also the capital to be infused in the public sector banks. But his pleas when unheeded. But members of almost all opposition parties supported Agrawal’s demand. Public sector banks are saddled with non-performing assets (NPAs) or bad loans to the tune of a staggering Rs six lakh crore. Bad loans rose by over Rs one lakh crore in the first nine months of last fiscal to Rs 6.07 lakh crore by December 31, 2016.
Gross NPAs of public sector banks stood at Rs 5.02 lakh crore at the end of March 2016, up from Rs 2.67 lakh crore at the end of March 2015.