Newspapers report that Canara Bank writes off loans of big defaulters and refuses to share names of the big defaulters.
The report informs that Canara Bank has written off Rs.1.29 lakh crore bad loans of big defaulters in the past 11 years and refuses to share the names of those who have borrowed more than Rs.100 crores from the public sector lender whose loans have been written off. The bank is using the cover under Section 8(1) (j) of the RTI Act not to disclose the names of such borrowers, rather the beneficiaries! Alas! As per the RTI Act, the Central Public Information Officer cannot use such excuses and must give specific reasons as defined under various sections such as 8, 9, 11 and 24.
Such information has come to the public domain based on the petition filed by Pune based RTI (Right to Information) activist, Shri Vivek Velankar. It is strange that the names of defaulters of small loans are published in Newspapers as a recovery process and the details of defaulters of big loans are kept away from public domain. The situation may be more or less similar in all other banks. What makes the government and the bankers hide the names of such big loan defaulters asks the public.
On a perusal of the Central Information Commission annual report for 2020-21, a whopping 47% of applications were rejected under Section 8(1) (j) of the RTI Act! The real intent or purpose of such an Act is being subverted by misuse of this section of the Act. The authorities use this section inexhaustibly under the garb of protecting private information from being disseminated.
The Unions and Associations in the banking industry have been demanding publication of the names of the willful defaulters. Yet the government and the bankers are not ready to do so! The overwhelming majority of the bank deposits are from the common man, upon which the bank lends. Hence the public has every right to know the details of such big defaulters. If there is a failure on the part of authorities to recover loans from the big defaulters, the public movement will force the law makers to take effective measures to recover such bad loans.
Share the details of big defaulters.
Recover fully from the willful defaulters of big loans.
Save the banks.