The CPI(M) today demanded an explanation from the BJP on a media report that state-run banks wrote off bad loans worth Rs 81,683 crore in 2016-17. In a tongue-in-cheek barb, CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury asked Finance Minister Arun Jaitley to comment on the issue "if he has completed his vacation in Kerala". The finance minister was in the southern state yesterday to meet relatives of an RSS worker who was allegedly killed by functionaries of the CPI(M), which rules the state, on July 29. During the visit, Jaitley had accused the CPI(M) of "eliminating rivals and creating an environment of violence" in the state. Yechury said on Twitter most of the loan defaulters were big corporate houses, whose identity, he added, was "hidden by the government". He said this was happening when farmers were committing suicide allegedly because of mounting debts. He tweeted that after writing off Rs 1.14 lakh crore in its first two years, "this pro-rich sarkar" had "now waived Rs 81,683 crore". "Who is benefiting under this govt is clear," he tweeted. "If the FM has completed his vacation in Kerala, will he answer how this write off of loans has happened," the Marxist leader asked on the micro-blogging site. According to a media report, public sector banks wrote off bad loans of Rs 81,683 crore during the previous financial year, a rise of 41 per cent over fiscal 2015-16.
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