Yashovardhan Birla, the director of Birla Surya and also chairman of the Yash Birla Group has been declared as the willful defaulter for non-payment of Rs 67.55 crore given to Birla Surya Ltd by the Kolkata-based lender UCO Bank.
The NPA of Rs 67.65 crore
According to the notice filed by UCO Bank against Birla Surya Ltd, the latter was sanctioned a credit limit of Rs 100 crore for fund-based facilities for manufacturing multi-crystalline solar photovoltaic cells, from UCO Bank’s corporate branch at Nariman Point, Mumbai. Due to non-repayment of dues to the bank, the account was declared non-performing asset (NPA) on June 3, 2013. The borrower has not repaid the dues owed to the bank despite several notices.
A borrower is tagged as a wilful defaulter if he or she has defaulted in meeting repayment obligations despite having the capacity to repay, else when the funds are not utilised for the purpose for which the finance was availed and but instead user for other purposes.
Ironically, of all the banks, Yashovardhan Birla has been listed as a wilful defaulter by UCO Bank, the one that was founded by his great grandfather Rameshwar Das Birla’s brother Ghanshyam Das Birla in 1943. Yashovardhan Birla is the director of Birla Surya and also chairman of the Yash Birla Group which has more than a dozen companies — including Zenith Steel, Birla Power, Birla Lifestyle and Shloka Infotech among others.
How Big of a Deal is This?
According to RBI, once declared a wilful defaulter, the borrower is not sanctioned any additional facilities by banks or financial institutions and his access to funding dries up not just for the existing business but for any company in which he is a director.
The bank has filed a suit to recover the amount from the defaulter. The present balance outstanding is Rs. 67.65 crore plus unapplied interest from the date on NPA.
The borrower company and its directors, promoters, guarantors are declared as willful defaulters by the bank and their names are reported to the credit information companies for public information.
Yashovardhan Birla inherited the family business at 23, after his parents died in an air crash in Bangalore. The group has been handled by advisors for many years.