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Congress slams govt over rise in NPAs, questions 'unbridled powers' to PSBs

The Congress alleged that NPAs have risen by 365 percent under the Modi government and questioned why "unbridled powers" were being given to PSU banks to "sell off assets at throwaway prices"

Bank NPAs

Illustration: Ajay Mohanty

Press Trust of India New Delhi
The Congress on Tuesday alleged that NPAs have risen by 365 percent under the Modi government and questioned why "unbridled powers" were being given to PSU banks to "sell off assets at throwaway prices".
Congress spokesperson Supriya Shrinate said 38 wilful defaulters have fled the country after swindling banks and asked the government on its plans to bring them back.
She claimed that the BJP does not contest elections on issues or its report card but on the face of the prime minister, and said it must answer questions on the rise in non performing assets (NPAs) and loans being written off.
"The BJP or the prime minister never contests polls on issues and seeks votes on its report card as they never work. Every election is being contested on the personal background of the prime minister. But, who will answer as to why big haircuts are being given by banks," she told reporters at a press conference.
The Congress leader said 61 percent of the fiscal deficit can be funded by this write off alone. But the government will never discuss this as they do not understand the economy, she alleged.
"The benefit is to be given only to a few select industrialists and nothing else and that is why no answers are coming," she said.
She said that in the last five years alone, the government has written off Rs 10 lakh crore and only 13 percent of that amount has been recovered, asking why are such huge amounts of debt written off and why is only 13 percent of that debt recovered.
Shrinate said the cheer leaders of the government will say this is not a loan waiver but a write off, contending that this is as good as a loan waiver because you are able to recover only 13 percent.
"If the common man fails to pay EMIs, they will be named and shamed and recoveries will be made, but it is astonishing as those who have defaulted in a big way have not been named so far.
"This money is being given away from the tax paying money and that money is being used to absolve corporates of their liabilities," she alleged.
The Congress spokesperson claimed that the NCLT and IBC have absolved corporates borrowers of their liability because banks are giving them a clean chit and haircuts of 70 to 90 percent are being given and assets are being transferred at throwaway prices.
She said 542 cases were resolved recently through NCLT and IBC and the amount of debt involved was Rs 8 lakh crore and only 2 lakh crore was recovered and one wonders where the rest of the money went.
"NPAs under the Modi government have gone up by 365 percent from Rs 5 lakh crore between 2008 to 2014 and risen to over Rs 18 lakh crore from 2014 to 2020," she alleged.
"Wilful defaulters have risen substantially and from Rs 23,000 crore to Rs 2.4 lakh crore and one wonders who are these people who are defaulting wilfully and are not being brought to book.
"Why are write offs of over 10 lakh Rupees and who are these corporates benefiting from it," she asked.
Shrinate also questioned why PSU banks are being given unbridled power to take haircuts and transfer assets at throwaway prices.
"Is it being probed how they are doing this," she asked.
"The government is answerable as to why have wilful defaulters gone up by 10 times and is there any plan to bring back 38 swindlers who have left the country after defaulting big amounts with banks. Is there a plan or strategy to bring them back," she also asked.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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First Published: Nov 22 2022 | 2:52 PM IST

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