PAC Seeks List of Top Loan De­fault­ers from the Fin­min

Asks of­fi­cials to sub­mit names of firms who owed 100cr or more to banks; also wants de­tails of de­mon­e­tised notes re­turned to RBI

The Economic Times - - Companies: Pursuit Of Profit - CL.Manoj@ times­

New Delhi: The Pub­lic Ac­counts Com­mit­tee (PAC) of Par­lia­ment on Fri­day asked fi­nance min­istry of­fi­cials to sub­mit a list of top loan de­fault­ers, es­pe­cially those who owed ₹ 100 crore or more to banks. It also sought, within 15 days, de­tails of the cur­rency notes re­turned to the cen­tral bank af­ter the Novem­ber 8 de­mon­eti­sa­tion an­nounce­ment.

The sec­re­tary at the De­part­ment of Rev­enue has com­mit­ted to soon pro­vide it a list of de­fault­ers who have been served with pros­e­cu­tion no­tices, sources said. Sec­re­taries at the de­part­ments of eco­nomic af­fairs, fi­nan­cial ser­vices and rev­enue ap­peared be­fore the PAC on Fri­day.

The PAC di­rec­tion to fi­nance min­istry of­fi­cials, in­ci­den­tally, comes a day af­ter fi­nance min­is­ter Arun Jait­ley told the Lok Sabha that the pre­vi­ous Congress-led gov­ern­ment’s “over man­age­ment of banks” was re­spon­si­ble for the bal­loon­ing of non-per­form­ing as­sets at pub­lic sec­tor banks.

With mem­bers ex­press­ing im­pa­tience over the de­lay in au­thor­i­ties giv­ing it an es­ti­mate of the de­mon­e­tised ₹ 1,000 and ₹ 500 notes re­turned to the Re­serve Bank of In­dia, thecom­mit­tee­head­ed­byCongress MP KV Thomas asked the of­fi­cials to sub­mit this data within15 days.

This de­mand came af­ter of­fi­cials again skirted queries of the Joint Par­lia­men­tary Com­mit­tee by say­ing the process of es­ti­mat­ing the re­turned notes was still on­go­ing. The only spe­cific data they men­tioned was that of the notes re­turned, ₹ 500 crore were found to be counter-

feit, an in­for­ma­tion they had dis­closed to the com­mit­tee ear­lier as well. The PAC also asked of­fi­cials to im-

me­di­ately lift all re­stric­tions on cash with­drawal. The is­sue of NPA came up when PAC ex­pressed con­cerns about the per­for­mance of banks, es­pe­cially the state-run ones, and the im­pact of the “bulging NPAs” on eco­nomic growth. PAC chair­man Thomas is learnt to have told the fi­nance min­istry of­fi­cials that the gross NPAs to the to­tal ad­vances ra­tio at sched­uled com­mer­cial banks had in­creased to 9.1% from 7.8% be­tween March and Septem­ber of 2016. BJP mem­ber Nishikant Dubey claimed that his rais­ing the is­sue of NPAs in the Lok Sabha, in the past, was par­tic­u­larly in­stru­men­tal in theSupre­meCourt­set­tin­gu­paspe­cial team to probe the is­sue, a source said. There­fore, Dubey said he wasallthe­moreen­ti­tled­to­be­in­formed about the list of firms served with pros­e­cu­tion no­tices. Some mem­bers of the PAC con­tin­ued to ques­tion the ra­tio­nale of de­mon­eti­sa­tion and de­manded again to know whether it was the gov­ern­ment or RBI which first made the de­ci­sion on the note-re­call.

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