FM Sitharaman slams Rahul Gandhi; lists out action taken against wilful defaulters

Finance Minister, Nirmala Sithraman, COVID19, News, Mobile
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Slamming Rahul Gandhi for what she called an attempt “to mislead people in a brazen manner” on the matters pertaining to wilful defaulters, bad loans and write-offs, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman today said that the Rs 18,332.7 crore was the total value of attachments done and seizures made in cases related to Nirav Modi, Mehul Choksi and Vijay Mallya.

Earlier in the day, Rahul Gandhi had tweeted saying that the Finance Minister had refused to answer when he wanted to know the names of 50 biggest bank defaulters. He alleged that these details were not provided in the Parliament because the likes of Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi are “BJP’s friends” and now their names have been put in a defaulters’ list by RBI.

Sitharaman, in a series of tweets, said that the Modi government is pursuing “these wilful defaulters” and that 9,967 recovery suits and 3,515 FIRs invoking the Fugitive Amendment Act in cases are on now.

In the Nirav Modi case, Sitharaman said that immovable and movable properties worth more than Rs 2,387 Crore had been attached/seized (Attachment Rs 1898 Crore and Seizure Rs 489.75 Crore). “This includes foreign attachments of Rs 961.47 Crore. Auction of luxury items for Rs 53.45 Crore. He is in prison in the UK,” Sitharaman said.

In the Mehul Choksi Case, the Finance Minister said that attachments worth Rs 1936.95 Crore, including foreign attachment of Rs 67.9 Crore and seizures worth Rs 597.75 Crore had been made. “Red Notice issued. Extradition Request sent to Antigua. Hearing for declaration of Mehul Choksi as Fugitive Offender is in progress,” the FM said.

In the Vijay Mallya Case, Sitharaman said that the total value at the time of attachment was Rs 8,040 Crore and of seizure was Rs 1,693 Crore. Value of shares at the time of seizure was Rs 1693 Crore. “Declared fugitive offender. On extradition request by GoI, UK High Court, has also ruled for extradition,” she added.

Sitharaman also said that bank-wise details of aggregate funded amount outstanding & amount technically/prudentially written off, pertaining to top fifty wilful defaulters was provided as an annex to the answer to Rahul Gandhi’s starred question in Lok Sabha on March 16.

She added that on November 18, 2019, a list of “Borrowers flagged as wilful defaulter by Public Sector Banks under CRILIC reporting as on 30.09.2019 (For borrowers with exposure of Rs. 5 crore and above, Global operations) was provided in response to an unstarred Question in Lok Sabha.

“@INCIndia and Shri. @RahulGandhi should introspect why they fail to play a constructive role in cleaning up the system. Neither while in power, nor while in the opposition has the @INCIndia shown any commitment or inclination to stop corruption & cronyism,” the FM tweeted.

Sitharaman also pointed out that between 2009-10 & 2013-14 (when UPA was in power), Scheduled Commercial Banks had written off Rs 1,45,226 crores. “Wished Shri. @RahulGandhi consulted Dr. Manmohan Singh on what this writing-off was about,” Sitharaman tweeted.

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The FM said that provisions are made for NPAs as per the four-year provisioning cycle laid down by the RBI. “Upon full provisioning being done banks write-off the fully provided NPA but continue to pursue recovery against the borrower. No loan is waived off,” she said.

“Those defaulters who do not repay despite having capacity to pay, divert or siphon-off funds, or dispose of secured assets without bank’s permission are categorised as wilful defaulters. They are those well connected promoters who benefitted from UPA’s ‘Phone banking’,” the FM stated.

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