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14th June 2017, 06:35 Hrs

Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has announced that the RBI is at a fairly advanced stage of preparing a list of loan defaulters so that the same can be recovered. His remarks came after a meeting with heads of public sector banks which are reeling under nearly Rs 6 lakh crore of non-performing assets. In addition, a new kind of problem has developed over the demand for a waiver of farm loans with farmers defaulting on payments in the hope that State governments will provide relief in the form of write-offs. These are certainly not good days for the banking sector which needs political support to get tough with big defaulters who usually go scot free due to political patronage. Last month the Centre promulgated an Ordinance to empower the RBI to recover mounting NPAs of public sector banks and it is heartening to know that Jaitley is following it up, but people who have invested their money in banks would like to see something more tangible, like publication of the list of defaulters. We need to know who is responsible for this precarious situation. As long as this list is kept secret defaulters will feel safe, in fact too safe for the health of public sector banks.

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