NEW DELHI: Loans worth Rs. 81,683 crore were written off by public sector banks (PSBs) in 2016-17, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said today in the Rajya Sabha. In a written reply, Mr Jaitley said that loans are written off for tax benefit and capital optimisation, but the borrowers of such loans continue to be liable for repayment.
The amount written off, including through compromise, by PSBs was Rs. 81,683 crore in 2016-17, including Rs. 20,339 crore by State Bank of India, the finance minister said. The amount written off by nationalised banks was Rs. 28,781 crore during 2017-18, up to September 2017.
According to the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) guidelines and policy approved by bank boards, non-performing loans, including those in respect of which full provisioning has been made on completion of four years, are removed from the balance sheet of banks by writing off.
Mr Jaitley said recovery of dues takes place on an ongoing basis under legal mechanisms. “Therefore, write-off does not benefit borrowers,” Mr Jaitley said.
In another reply, Minister of State for Finance Shiv Pratap Shukla said that in the five financial years since April 1, 2013 as many as 13,643 cases of frauds in banks involving an aggregate amount of Rs. 52,717 crore have been reported.
On a query regarding benami deals, Mr Shukla said over 1,000 properties have been attached provisionally under the Prohibition of Benami Properties Transactions Act till January 31, 2018.
“These include plots of land, flats, shops, jewellery, vehicles, deposits in bank account, fixed deposits. The value of properties under provisional attachment is over Rs. 3,800 crore,” he said.