Reserve Bank of India Current Affairs - 2020

Wilful Defaulters in Nationalised Banks up by 60% in 5 years: Govt

As per a written reply given by Union Finance Minister Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman in Lok Sabha, the number of wilful defaulters in nationalised banks has increased by more than 60% to 8,582 in five years to March 2019.

Key Highlights

The Finance Minister provided the written reply in Lok Sabha to a question asked that whether the cases of willful defaulters of banks have increased during the past five years.

Wilful Defaulter is an entity or a person that has not paid the loan taken back to the bank despite having the ability to repay it. Wilful defaulters are acted against comprehensively.

Data Provided by Government:

By end of fiscal year 2014-15, the figure of wilful defaulters in nationalised banks stood at 5,349, and since then the number of such borrowers has been consistently rising- with being 6,575 (2015-16), 7,079 (2016-17), 7,535 (2017-18) and now increased to 8,582 in 2018-2019 fiscal.

During the last 5 financial years about ₹7,654 crore has been recovered from wilful defaulters’ accounts.

Steps Taken By Government

As per data reported by 17 nationalised banks in India, till 31 March 2019, suits for recovery have been filed in 8,121 cases out of 8,582.

SARFAESI Act: In cases involving secured assets, action under provisions of SARFAESI Act (Securitisation and Reconstruction of Financial Assets and Enforcement of Securities Interest Act, 2002) has been initiated in 6,251 cases.

RBI Instructions: As per the instructions provided by Reserve Bank of India (RBI), wilful defaulters are not sanctioned any additional facilities by banks/financial institutions, their unit is debarred from floating new ventures for 5 year and even criminal proceedings are initiated wherever necessary. In accordance with this FIRs have been registered in 2,915 cases.

SEBI Regulations: Besides, vide Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) regulations, wilful defaulters and companies who has with wilful defaulters as either promoters or directors have been debarred from accessing capital markets to raise funds.

IBC 2016: The Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC), 2016 has debarred wilful defaulters from participating in insolvency resolution process.

FEO Act 2018: The government has enacted Fugitive Economic Offenders Act, 2018 for effective action against wilful defaulters who flee Indian jurisdiction. It provides for attachment and confiscation of property of fugitive offenders and to disentitle them from defending any civil claim.

PSBs: Government has also advised all Public Sector Banks (PSB) to decide on publishing photographs of all concerned wilful defaulters and to obtain certified copy of passport of promoters/directors and other authorised signatories of companies availing loans of over ₹50 crore. The heads of PSBs have also been empowered to request for issuance of look out circulars (LoC) against wilful defaulters.

RBI Deputy Governor Viral Acharya quits before his term ends

Viral Acharya Deputy Governor of Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has resigned from his position 6 months before the end of his term citing reason as unavoidable personal circumstances.

Acharya, who joined RBI on 23 January 2017 for a three-year term, was youngest deputy governor of RBI post economic liberalisation. He may now return to New York University Stern School of Business (NYU Stern) in August 2020 instead of February 2020.

Key Highlights

RBI Deputy Governor Viral Acharya resignation is second high profile resignation at Reserve Bank of India (RBI). In December 2018 Urjit Patel former RBI governor, also resigned about nine months before end of his schedule term citing personal reasons.

Acharya’s resignation is also significant as he resigned shortly before Bimal Jalan committee is to submit its report on whether RBI reserves could be transferred to Centre government or not.

Mr. Acharya who was in charge of the monetary policy department, created a controversy in October 2018 by strongly alluding to encroachment on autonomy of apex bank of country by government. One of the main tension points he highlighted was treatment of RBI reserves.

RBI is left with only 3 Deputy Governors- N.S. Vishwanathan, B.P. Kanungo and M.K. Jain.

Conflict: Dr. Acharya has been differing with RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das in last two Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meetings on both growth and inflation. In latest monetary policy meeting also, RBI Governor Das and Deputy Governor Acharya differed strongly on state of fiscal deficit and how to account for that. Acharya, who was in charge of monetary policy department while ending his term warned of wrath of markets if autonomy of a central bank was compromised.

About Reserve Bank of India

RBI is India’s central banking institution, which controls issuance and supply of Indian rupee.

The RBI began its operations on 1 April 1935 in accordance with Reserve Bank of India Act, 1934. RBI was nationalised on 1 January 1949, after India gained independence on 15 August 1947.

Until Monetary Policy Committee was established in 2016, it also controlled monetary policy in India.