Public sector banks write off loans worth Rs2.49 lakh crore in 5-yrs


New Delhi—Public sector banks have “written off” nearly Rs 2.5 lakh crore loans in the last five financial years, the finance ministry said quoting RBI data.

As many as 27 public sector banks, including SBI and its five associates, in 2016-17 have written off Rs 81,683 crore, the highest in the last five fiscals. The amount was 41 per cent higher than that in the previous fiscal.

SBI and its erstwhile associates alone have written off Rs 27,574 crore in 2016-17, according to the RBI data on “write offs” done by public sector banks. SBI merged its five associate banks with itself from April 1 2017.

The written off amount by PSU banks soared from Rs 27,231 crore in 2012-13 to Rs 57,586 in 2015-16 and further to Rs 81,683 crore in 2016-17.

During 2013-14, write off figure was Rs 34,409 crore which rose to Rs 49,018 crore in the subsequent fiscal.

So, the cumulative amount written off in the last five fiscals ending March 2017 was Rs 2,49,927 crore.

Punjab National Bank has written off Rs 9,205 crore, followed by Bank of India (Rs 7,346 crore) and Canara Bank (Rs 5,545 crore) in 2016-17.

Among other PSU banks, Bank of Baroda has written off Rs 4,348 crore, followed by Corporation Bank (Rs 3,574 crore), Indian Overseas Bank (Rs 3,066 crore) and IDBI Bank (Rs 2,868 crore).

As per the RBI norms, loans are written off after making adequate provisions to take advantage of tax benefits. In respect of technical write-offs, the RBI has permitted writeoffs at headquarter level while recovery efforts are still continued at branch level.

It is to be noted that the gross NPAs of public sector banks were 12.47 per cent of gross advances as on March 31, 2017. Gross advances were Rs 51.42 lakh crore while gross NPAs were Rs 6.41 lakh crore.

As on March 2016, gross advances were Rs 51.04 lakh crore while gross NPAs were Rs 5.02 lakh crore. So as a percentage it works out to be 9.83 per cent.

The CPI(M) has demanded an explanation from the BJP on state-run banks loan write off to the tune of Rs 81,683 crore in 2016-17.


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