Even as wilful  defaulters owe the State Bank of India's (SBI) over  ₹ 1 lakh crores, the bank has written off loans to the tune of  ₹ 40,000 crores in three years, including that of corporate defaulters! But the bank refused to disclose the details of big defaulters. 

 

Asianet News accessed the RTI response given by SBI to a query on its loan write offs. The biggest public sector bank in the country  decided to forgo loan dues worth Rs.40,000 crores in three years starting from 2013. 

 

 SBI write off

  • 2013-14:  ₹ 10,378 cr 
  • 2014-15:  ₹ 15,509 cr
  • 2015-16:  ₹ 13,588 cr 

 

But the bank clarified that it was just technical and that the non-performing assets (NPA) were moved to an Advance Under Collection Account (AUCA) to keep it off the books.

 

"Write-off of loans in our bank is largely technical in nature, and such accounts are merely shifted from NPA to AUCA after appropriate provisions have been made. Our right to recover dues in such accounts does not change. There is a system of follow-up of these accounts without any dilution in the recovery effort, which remains as rigorous as in the case of NPAs," the Bank clarified. As on 30 September 2016, total NPA of SBI stood at ₹101506.79 crores.

 

As on 30 September 2016, total Non Performing Assets of SBI stood at ₹101506.79 crores.

 

Last month, SBI had hit the headlines by allegedly writing off loans worth ₹ 7,016 crores of corporate defaulters including Vijay Mallya. Then the public sector bank had claimed that by moving it to AUCA would not affect the recovery proceedings and it would, in fact, expedite the process of loan recovery. But the RTI response proves that the real amount of loans written off is much higher that it was revealed earlier. 

 

 Write-off of loans in our bank is largely technical in nature: SBI


When the RTI applicant demanded the details of defaulters bearing more than ₹ 100 crores who were benefitted by the write-off, the bank refused to divulge. It cited the provisions of RTI Act that provide immunity against disclosing third party information. A writ petition is pending before the High Court at Delhi against a 2015 order of the Central Information Commission in this regard, the bank pointed out.