The Public Sector Banks wrote-off loans worth Rs 2,41,911 crore between April 2014 and September 2017.In a written reply to Rajya Sabha, Minister of State for Finance Shiv Pratap Shukla said that writing off non-performing assets (NPAs) or bad loans is a regular exercise conducted by banks to clean up their balance sheet and to achieve taxation efficiency.
The Centre, however, declined to name the defaulters, citing a section of the RBI Act which prohibits it from disclosing credit information given by banks.
The questions were put by MP Ritabrata Banerjee, who has been suspended by the CPI(M).
The disclosure came under strong criticism from Bengal chief minister and Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee. "I am shocked to see that at a time, when the farmers in the country are crying and committing suicide for their loan burden and asking for waiver of farmers' loan, the Government of India have not even considered that," the West Bengal chief minister said in a Facebook post.
"On the contrary, the Government of India has decided to write off Non-Performing Assets of public sector banks," Banerjee said.
The TMC chief also questioned why the Centre is not ready to disclose details of credit information by a public sector bank in Parliament.
Even in Parliament reply today, the Government of India says the details of credit information by a public sector bank cannot be disclosed, Banerjee tweeted this evening.
She asked, “Why is this confidentiality? Whom is the Government trying to protect?”
The chief minister demanded immediate disclosure of the complete list of public sector banks defaulters. “We demand immediate disclosure of the complete list of defaulters of public sector banks, whose loans have been written off. Is it not a big, big, big scam ???”
The Trinamool Congress supremo pointed out that it was her party which had raised the issue of NPA at the time of demonetisation.
“This is unbelievable. We raised the issue of Non-Performing Assets right at the time of demonetisation. Now the cat is out of the bag and reality bites,” she added.