RTI activist Saket Gokhale had filed an RTI query seeking details of the 50 top wilful defaulters and the current status of their loans till February 16.
I filed this RTI because Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and Minister of State for Finance Anurag Thakur, but they had refused to reply to this starred question asked in parliament by Congress MP Rahul Gandhi, in the last budget session, on Feb 16, 2020.
The RBI said that this amount comprising outstanding and the amounts were technically written-off, till the 30th of September, 2019. The central bank claims that it hasn’t updated the list since then.
You can see the whole list here:
Topping the list is Choksi’s scam-hit company, Gitanjali Gems Limited which owed Rs.5,492 crore. The list also includes Baba Ramdev and Balkrishna’s group company Ruchi Soya Industries Ltd., Indore (Rs.2,212 crore), and Zoom Developers Pvt. Ltd., Gwalior (Rs.2,012 crore), liquor baron Vijay Mallya’s defunct Kingfisher Airlines Ltd. (Rs 1,943 crore).
A majority of them have defaulted prominent nationalist banks over the past several years and many of them are either absconding or facing action by various probe agencies and some are under litigation.
Twitter has been criticising the government since this news became public.
Classic Example of "Round Tripping" !— Abhijit Mukherjee (@ABHIJIT_LS) April 28, 2020
1) Companies default Lakhs of Crores of Loans – 2) pays part of it as commission to "Anonymous Electoral Bonds" & PMCares Corpus " – 3) RBI writes of the loans – 4) Assets bought remains with the owner after 2-3 rounds of auctions 🙏
#RBI has written off loans in amount of 68,600 Cr while regular people are threatened if we miss one installment. As if if it’s ok to take loans in thousands of crores and have that money for ur own. It’s a curse to be a middle class. pic.twitter.com/rs82KrKDi9— Shibotosh (@Shibotosh2) April 29, 2020
On one side the govt. requests the TAX PAYERS like us for donations towards the “PM CARES” fund, while on the other waives off wilful defaulters.— Amey Deshpande (@SportsZealot07) April 28, 2020
Shameful. Absolutely shameful. #RBI https://t.co/glD3rkj2zB
Everything will be remembered in history. #RBI waived Rs 68,607 crore loan of top 50 willful defaulters secretly, including the name of #MehulChoksi and It is not even being discussed in the national media,😡😡https://t.co/swsuRDR3yY— HRITHIK SAINI (@HRITHIKSAINI1) April 28, 2020
If it is correct, I urge the #RBI #BJPgovernment please do the same with all farmer waiver of india also Personal Loan waiver. Apply the exactly same with both of them. As per my understanding both should be equally treated.— sunant samir (@SunantSamir) April 29, 2020
This is very unfortunate, if a poor farmer has 50 thousand left, then these bankers auction his farm even, but these rich people should have such birthright..#RBI #MehulChoksi #VijayMallya https://t.co/0HyNhVZiSu— Omkar Chaudhary (@SocialOmkar) April 29, 2020
PS: The total amount owed by top 50 willful defaulters is Rs. 68,607 crores (US$ 8 billion)— Saket Gokhale (@SaketGokhale) April 27, 2020
– 8 times the amount India has borrowed from the World Bank for fighting Covid-19.
– 30% of India’s Covid-19 stimulus package.
– 45 crore Covid-19 testing kits.
Meanwhile the RBI also said that according to section 8 (1)(a) of RTI Act 2005 read with para 77 of Supreme Court judgement of December 16, 2015 in Jayantilal N Mistry case, information on overseas borrowers is exempted from public disclosure.