Here Is the List of Top-50 Wilful Bank Defaulters; Bad Debts of Rs10.09 Lakh Crore Written Off in Past 5 Years, Says Govt
Moneylife Digital Team 23 December 2022
During the past five financial years, scheduled commercial banks (SCBs) wrote off bad debts worth Rs10.09 lakh crore. As per data provided by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), public sector banks (PSBs) have recovered Rs4.80 lakh crore, including recovery of Rs1.03 lakh crore from written-off loans during the same period, the Lok Sabha was informed. Further, information shared by the ministry of finance shows that Gitanjali Gems Ltd, owned by fugitive businessman Mehul Choksi, remains the top wilful defaulter with an outstanding of Rs7,848 crore as of 31 March 2022.
In a written reply Dr Bhagwat Karad, minister of state for finance, says, "In the last five financial years, the PSBs have made an aggregate recovery of Rs4,80,111 crore from non-performing asset (NPA) accounts and upgradation of NPAs of Rs1,45,356 crore. Further, slippages into NPAs have reduced from Rs3,38,710 crore for FY16-17 to Rs1,44,315 crore for FY21-22, all of which has resulted in decline of NPAs." 
"The decline in NPAs can also be due to write-off, which is primarily an exercise undertaken for cleaning of balance-sheet, avail of tax benefit and optimise capital by PSBs, as per RBI guidelines and banks' board approved policies," he added.
Members of Parliament (MPs) Ravneet Singh Bittu and Pradyut Bordoloi have asked whether NPAs of the PSBs have been reduced primarily due to the writing off of loans from the account books of these PSBs. They also asked for details of top-50 loan write-offs and names of top-50 wilful defaulters over the past five years.
Dr Karad says, "With regard to the details of the top 50 loans that were written off, RBI has informed that account-wise information on written-off loan accounts is not maintained by it. Further, under the provisions of section 45E of the RBI Act, RBI is prohibited from disclosing borrower-wise credit information since the credit information submitted by a bank is treated as confidential and is not to be published or otherwise disclosed. However, scheduled commercial banks and all Indian financial institutions report certain credit information of all borrowers having aggregate credit exposure of Rs5 crore and above to RBI, under its Central Repository of Information on Large Credits (CRILC) database."
Topping the list is Mr Choksi's scam-hit company, Gitanjali Gems, which owed Rs7,848 crore, besides other group companies, Gili India Ltd and Nakshatra Brands Ltd, which had taken loans of Rs1,447 crore and Rs1,149 crore, respectively.
Mr Choksi is currently a citizen of Antigua & Barbados Isles. His nephew and another absconder, diamond trader Nirav Modi is in London, whose appeal against extradition was dismissed last month by the UK High Court (HC).
Currently, Mr Choksi is proclaimed an offender by the Indian government and several cases against him, by agencies like CBI (central bureau of investigation), enforcement directorate (ED) and the income-tax (I-T) department, are pending. Last month, Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) banned him from trading in the markets for 10 years for using front entities to trade in the shares of the company to maintain its price from falling. Mr Choksi has also been fined Rs5 crore for the same SEBI rule violations that restrict promoters of a company from trading in the shares or derivatives contracts of the same company. Mr Choksi had been defrauded and, in January 2018, fled the country.
The second wilful defaulter on the list is Era Infra Engineering Ltd, which owes Rs5,879 crore to Indian lenders.
REI Agro Ltd, with an amount of Rs4,803 crore, is the third defaulter on the list. Its directors, Sandip Jhujhunwala and Sanjay Jhunjhunwala, have already been under the scanner of the ED and CBI for the past few years.
The next three on the list are Concast Steel and Power Ltd (Rs4,596 crore), ABG Shipyard Ltd (Rs3,708 crore) and Frost International Ltd (Rs3,311 crore).
It is followed by absconding diamantaire Jatin Mehta's Winsome Diamonds & Jewellery, owing Rs2,931 crore and probed by the CBI for various bank frauds. Winsome Diamonds and its founder Jatin Mehta, with his wife Sonia and two sons Vipul and Suraj, vanished from India and have never returned, leaving behind a loan default documented at Rs6,800 crore, but could be more. (Read: Big Bank Defaulter Jatin Mehta of Winsome Diamonds: Let Off in India, May Be Nailed by UK Courts
Kanpur-based writing instruments giant Rotomac Global Pvt Ltd, part of the famed Kothari group, which owed Rs2,893 crore, is the next wilful defaulter.
Coastal Projects Ltd, with an outstanding of Rs2,311 crore and Gwalior-based Zoom Developers Pvt Ltd, with Rs2,147 crore, are also among the top 10 wilful defaulters, information shared by the government in the Lok Sabha shows. 
According to data obtained under Right to Information (RTI) and analysis done by Pune-based Vivek Velankar, just 312 big defaulters owe more than 76% or Rs1,41,583.50 crore of the total bad loans. As of 31 December 2021, nearly 2,237 wilful defaulters have an outstanding of Rs1,84,863.32 crore. While RBI had shared a list of names of 2,278 wilful defaulters, there are 41 borrowers against whom there is zero outstanding. 
Information provided by RBI shows that there are 26 big defaulters who have outstanding loans of Rs1,000 crore and above. These wilful defaulter groups, together, owe Rs60,425.71 crore to PSBs. 
The next group on the list is wilful defaulters with an outstanding of Rs500 crore to Rs1,000 crore. There are 40 companies on this list with bad debts worth Rs28,297.99 crore.
There are 246 wilful defaulters who have an outstanding between Rs100 crore to Rs500 crore. This group of defaulters owes Rs52,859.80 crore to PSBs. 
The highest number of wilful defaulters have an outstanding between Rs1 crore and Rs100 crore. This list has 1,914 companies who, together, have bad debt of Rs43,273.86 crore. 
The list shared by RBI also has names of 11 wilful defaulters whose outstanding is less than Rs1 crore. Also, there are 41 wilful defaulters on the list, who have zero outstanding, but RBI has included their names in the list shared with Mr Velankar. (Read: 312 Big Wilful Defaulters Owe Rs1.41 Lakh Crore to Public Sector Banks; Here Is the List of Bank Defaulters
You may also want to read our exclusive coverage on #BankLoot
10 months ago
As per the information the second wilful defaulter is Era Infra Engineering Ltd, wh0 owes Rs. 5,879 crore to Indian lenders. Another list of financial creditors of Era Infra as of 5th July 2023 shows Rs. 17,247 crore that is almso three times of your information. What could be reason for discrepency?The list is available on the website of Era Infra.
1 year ago
At this rate, Adani will be a billion rupee defaulter sooner. Can still claim and evade action stating pre 2014. Mallya was ready to repay really big which was denounced by jaitly. Now claim greatness in Tughlaqabad and stupidity.
Replied to sonneyjoseph comment 11 months ago
6 months over Adanis have not gone for liquidation to ur disappointment
Replied to sonneyjoseph comment 1 year ago
Oh so you think do a sun first and then pretend to clear the sin and run away from punishment
1 year ago
Interesting but has it made any dent to the lifestyle of promoters of these companies who are all still leading a royal lifestyle with own private aircrafts, yachts, palatial houses and latest and expensive vehicles. And compare it with hundreds of poor farmers who committed suicide due to the torture of banks officials for failing to pay small dues. Everyone knows court cases in India drag on for decades and the rich promoters will never be made accountable for the vast amounts looted by them.
2 years ago
What is the comparable position for private sector banks ?
2 years ago
Most of these loans were given by bank managers before may 2014 .Bank managers used to get calls from someone who used to instruct them they have to give loans to abc else they wl be transferred.This has stopped after NaMo came into power May 2014.
Replied to suketu comment 2 years ago
Crap. Most of these loans were given in 2015. After default in the first year itself they became NPAs from the second year. Look it up. Just because you like feku doesn't mean you will wash his ass in public.
Replied to krishna comment 1 year ago
Do your homework properly
Replied to krishna comment 1 year ago
Bhakts need to see the reality. Feku has made money laundering easy by scrapping the FCRA Act. But Bhakts are still refusing to take off their blinkers
Replied to uma01666 comment 1 year ago
The FCRA Act is scrapped for POLITICAL PARTIES only. It is still used to terrorize NGOs and Activists by Feku and gang
2 years ago
ordinary citizens how will they know how much any of these people have laundered only ED/banks will have the details and what is available in public domain will anyone know.
2 years ago
They should also publish how much money have been recovered from Choksi/Nirav modi etc by confisticating their properties assets etc
Replied to r_ashok41 comment 2 years ago
Not much. If you have the information, put it up. We'll be grateful
2 years ago
What about Govt cos like Gujarat State Petroleum Corp etc which were made bankrupt?
Replied to mudit3 comment 2 years ago
The GSPC did not make any bank bankrupt!
2 years ago
I recall statement of late Prime Minister Indira Gandhi ... Fruits of freedom should be given to teeming millions AND NOT SELECTED FEW. Thus banking benefits should not be restsricted to select4ed few.
Why not loans to self-employed and poor farmers be WRITTEN OFF.
Dr vedula gopinath
Replied to Vgnath comment 2 years ago
These days, the cowardly middle class believe that freedoms are only for their corporate mai baap owners
Replied to studies comment 1 year ago
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