RBI writes off over Rs 68K crore loans of 50 top defaulters, including Mehul Choksi, reveals RTI reply

According to a reply under RTI, the central bank has said that it has technically written off a whopping amount of Rs 68,607 crore
due from 50 top wilful defaulters.

It is worth mentioning here that notable RTI activist Saket Gokhale had filed an RTI query seeking details of the 50 top wilful defaulters.

“I filed this RTI because Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and Minister of State for Finance Anurag Thakur had refused to reply to this starred question asked in the Parliament by Congress MP Rahul Gandhi in the last Budget Session on February 16,” Gokhale told IANS.

This amount (Rs 68,607 crore) comprises outstanding and the amounts technically or prudentially written off, till September 30, 2019, according to the apex bank.

Gitanjali Gems Limited, Mehul Choksi’s scam-hit firm, topped the list, which owed over Rs 5490 crore. Other companies in the list of wilful defaulters are:

  • Gili India Ltd (Rs 1447 crore)
  • Nakshatra Brands Ltd (Rs 1109 crore)
  • REI Agro Ltd (Rs 4314 crore)
  • Winsome Diamonds & Jewellery (Rs 4076 crore)
  • Rotomac Global Pvt. Ltd (Rs 2850 crore)
  • Kudos Chemie, Punjab (Rs 2326 crore)
  • Ruchi Soya Industries Ltd., Indore (Rs 2212 crore)
  • Zoom Developers Pvt. Ltd., Gwalior (Rs 2012 crore)
  • Forever Precious Jewellery & Diamonds Pvt. Ltd. (Rs1962 crore)
  • Kingfisher Airlines Ltd. (Rs 1,943 crore)

6 among these wilful defaulters are related to gold or diamond industries. These defaulters are, in fact, spread across various sectors of the economy, leaving no industry sacrosanct.

Who is a wilful defaulter?

A wilful defaulter is a person or an entity (borrower) that hasn’t paid the loan back or met its repayment obligations despite having the capacity to do so. The Indian government has also enacted the Fugitive Economic Offenders Act, 2018 for taking stringent action against ones fleeing Indian jurisdiction.

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