Supreme Court wants the loan default amount to be made public, RBI resists

The Supreme Court of India has said that it would like if the total amount of outstanding loans given by banks to various individuals and entities are made public. Apparently, these loans run into lakhs of crores of rupees.

"This information does make out a case. This is quite a substantial amount which is involved," a bench comprising Chief Justice T S Thakur and Justice R Banumathi said.

However, the central banking authority, Reserve Bank of India (RBI), has said that there are confidentiality clauses involved and if disclosed, the figure will have its own impact.

The bench said that it has noted that the issue was important, and will examine if the total amount of defaulting loans running into crores of rupees can be disclosed. It also asked the parties involved in the matter to frame various debatable issues regarding the matter.

A petition was filed in 2003 by NGO Centre for Public Interest Litigation (CPIL), which had originally raised the issue of loans advanced to some companies by state-owned Housing and Urban Development Corporation (HUDCO). As per the plea, about Rs 40,000 crore of corporate debt was written off in 2015.

The Supreme Court had earlier directed the RBI to provide a list of companies which are defaulters of bank loans of over Rs 500 crore, because the sum involved is huge and poses serious concern over the rise in bad loans. RBI was given a time frame of six weeks to provide the list of companies whose loans have been restructured under corporate debt restructuring schemes.
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