Loans worth Rs 81,683 crore were written-off by public sector banks in 2016-17, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said today in the Rajya Sabha. In a written reply, Jaitley said that writing-off of loans is done for tax benefit as well as capital optimisation and 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 the financial year 2016-17, including Rs 20,339 crore by the State Bank of India (as per RBI data on global operations), he said.
The amount written off by nationalised banks was Rs 28,781 crore during 2017-18 (up to September, 2017). As per the 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 the bank concerned by way of write-off.
Jaitley further said that recovery of dues takes place on ongoing basis under legal mechanisms, which include, the Secularisation and Reconstruction of Financial Assets and Enforcement of Security Interest Act, Debts Recovery Tribunals and Lok Adalats. “Therefore, write-off does not benefit borrowers,” the minister added.