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Punjab National Bank admits loan defaults of Rs 25,000 crore

Mumbai: The beleaguered public sector Punjab National Bank (PNB) has admitted to 1,142 big and small defaulters all over India who have defaulted a stupendous Rs 25,090.3 crore. Of these 1,142, the PNB has so far initiated recovery proceedings by filing suits against 1,108 defaulters to recover Rs 23,879.8 crore. However, no suits have been filed against the remaining 34 defaulters who owe the bank Rs 1,210.5 crore. As is mandatory, the RBI has been informed of the status of all these messy accounts — some of them several years old and recoveries still pending from them — as on March 31, 2019.

The veritable ‘hit-list’ prepared by the country’s second largest PSB covers all defaulters owing PNB Rs 25 lakh and above, through all its branches in all states, with the highest numbers emerging from Maharashtra, Punjab, Delhi, Chandigarh, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal. Mysteriously, some companies which availed of loans are shown as registered abroad, while others which are registered in India have taken loans from the PNB from its overseas branches. Interestingly, the list of debt-dodgers goes beyond the duo of absconding diamantaires Nirav D. Modi and Mehul C. Choksi – whose scams worth around Rs 14,000-crore first brought the PNB imbroglio into the limelight in early 2018.

Also figuring in the list is another high-profile absconder, Vijay Mallya, who owes Rs 597.4 crore on the defunct Kingfisher Airlines account. The other defaulters include Kudos Chemie Ltd., Chandigarh (Rs 1,301.8 crore), Winsome Diamonds & Jewellery Ltd. Surat (Rs 899.7 crore), Jas Infrastructure & Power Ltd., Kolkata (Rs 410.9 crore), Zoom Developers Pvt. Ltd. Mumbai/Indore (Rs 410.1 crore). A few defaulters like Kingfisher Airlines, Winsome Diamonds & Jewellery Ltd, Kudos Chemie Ltd. and Zoom Developers Pvt. Ltd. are currently being investigated by the CBI.

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