Defunct airline Kingfisher is only ninth in the Reserve Bank of India’s list of the biggest defaulters, which is headed by Vinay Rai-promoted pig iron maker Usha Ispat. The list of the 10 biggest defaulters, published by website Newslaundry, has three other metals companies: Lloyds Steel at No. 2, Prakash Industries at No. 6, and Malvika Steel, which used to be a part of Rai’s Usha Group till 2009, at No. 10.
Newslaundry says it managed to get the central bank’s confidential list of the top 150 defaulters submitted to the Supreme Court.
Usha Ispat tops the list with a tally of Rs 16,911 crore in unpaid loans, with the Life Insurance Corp of India its largest lender.
Lloyds Steel comes second with unpaid loans worth Rs 9,478 crore, telecom cables maker Hindustan Cables third with an outstanding amount at Rs 4,917 crore, Hindustan Photofilms fourth with Rs 3,929 crore, and realty developer Zoom is in the fifth place with Rs 3,843 crore.
The list of RBI’s Wilful Defaulters and Defaulting Borrowers List places corporate bad debts in the banking system at `5 lakh crore as of December 24, 2015.
As the Kingfisher Airlines’ loan default case took centre stage, the apex court had questioned the RBI for not disclosing the names. This list was then submitted as a confidential report by the RBI.
These are accounts against which banks have not taken legal action. In banker-speak, they are non-suit-filed accounts. Of these, only Rs 1.08 lakh crore is labelled as wilful defaults, Newslaundry said.
Others among the top 10 defaulters are IT company Cranes Software International and textile firm Prag Bosimi Synthetics.
Of the top 10, four are public sector undertakings: Hindustan Cables, Hindustan Photo Films, Prag Bosimi and Malvika Steel. Steel Authority of India Ltd bought Malvika from Usha Group in 2009. Both Hindustan Cables and Hindustan Photo Films are declared terminally sick, and the former may shut down soon. Prag Bosimi Synthetics is the only industrial venture of public-private partnership in the North East. It restarted in 2012 after staying shut for a decade.
PSUs have defaulted the most to public sector banks and financial institutions, which means the taxpayer loses money twice over in case a PSU shuts down, Newslaundry said.