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PNB declares 900 firms as wilful defaulters; owe Rs 11,000 cr

As part of its balance sheet clean-up exercise, PNB plans to sell up to Rs 3,000-crore worth of bad loans

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Bad Loans

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

Punjab National Bank, PNB
A man walks past the building of Punjab National Bank.

Public sector lender Punjab National Bank (PNB) has declared a list of 904 wilful defaulters, including Winsome Diamonds & Jewellery and Zoom Developers, that owe close to Rs 11,000 crore to the lender.

Delhi-based bank recently declared defunct Kingfisher Airlines and its guarantors United Breweries Holdings and United Spirits chairman Vijay Mallya as wilful defaulters. Kingfisher Airlines owes Rs 1,500 crore to PNB.

According to the Reserve Bank of India, wilful default is deemed to have occurred when the borrower has not re-paid despite the capacity to meet obligations. Also, there could be an element of diversion of funds for other purposes.

PNB managing director and chief executive Usha Ananthasubramanian told Business Standard the bank was exploring all options. The focus was very much on recovery through the legal process, she said.

The bank has dragged many wilful defaulters to legal forums like Debt Recovery Tribunal to get back money that is due to the lender. Going by the list put out by PNB, some of the prominent defaulters include Winsome Diamonds & Jewellery, which owes Rs 900 crore, followed by Forever Precious Jewellery & Diamonds Rs 748 crore, Zoom Developers Rs 410 crore, and S Kumar Nationwide Rs 147 crore.


Ananthasubramanian said those who have the capacity must return their bank loans.

As a part of cleaning up balance sheet, the bank is conducting special camps for recovery at various places. It is also looking at one-time settlement proposals and other measures to reduce bad loans.

PNB plans to sell up to Rs 3,000 crore worth of bad loans to asset reconstruction companies (ARCs) in the ongoing quarter of this financial year.

For the quarter ended October-December, PNB's asset quality deteriorated and gross non-performing assets (NPAs) rose to 8.47 per cent of gross advances as against 5.97 per cent in the same quarter a year ago.

Likewise, net NPAs rose to 5.86 per cent of the advances as of the December quarter, from 3.82 per cent in the year-ago period.

In absolute terms, the gross NPAs increased to Rs 34,338 crore as of the December quarter, from Rs 22,211 crore a year ago. Net NPAs were at Rs 22,983 crore during the quarter, up from Rs 13,788 crore a year ago.


904: wilful defaulters declared by public sector lender Punjab National Bank

Rs 3,000 crore: worth of bad loans the bank plans to sell, to asset reconstruction companies in the ongoing quarter

Rs 11,000 cr: they owe to Punjab National Bank

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First Published: Wed, February 24 2016. 00:25 IST
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