India has witnessed many an arching cuts on the economy, when business men like Mehul Choksi and Jatin Mehta fled away with unfathomable sums of money, leaving a dent on the pockets of the common man.
Now, Indian banks have come together and have reported a staggering amount of Rs 68,607 crore due from 50 top wilful defaulters. These defaulters include the diamantaire Mehul Choksi and his nephew Nirav Modi.
RTI Query Answered by RBI
In the last Budget Session on February 16, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and Minister of State for Finance Anurag Thakur were asked to provide details about the 50 top wilfull defaulters, in the Parliament by Congress MP Rahul Gandhi, to which they refused to answer.
After this, prominent RTI activist Saket Gokhale a RTI query with the RBI seeking details of the 50 top wilful defaulters and their current loan status till February 16.
As per the information provided by the RBI’s Central Public Information Officer Abhay Kumar on Saturday (April 24), the total sum amounts up to Rs 68,607 crore, which comprises of outstanding amounts as well as the amounts prudentially written off till September 30, 2019.
No Industry Untouched
- Topping the list is Choksi’s scam-hit company, Gitanjali Gems Limited, which owed Rs 5,492 crore, alone.
- Other two cos under Choksi: Gili India Ltd and Nakshatra Brands Ltd took loans of Rs 1,447 crore and Rs 1,109 crore, respectively..
- Choksi is currently a citizen of Antigua & Barbados Isles, while his nephew and another absconder diamond trader Nirav Modi is in London.
- The second in the list is REI Agro Ltd., with an amount of Rs 4,314 crore.
- Its directors, Sandip Jhujhunwala and Sanjay Jhunjhunwala are already under the scanner of the Enforcement Directorate (ED) since over a year.
- The next on the list is the absconding diamantaire Jatin Mehta’s Winsome Diamonds & Jewellery owing Rs 4,076 crore, which is currently being probed by the Central Bureau of Investigation for various bank frauds.
- Speaking of the 2,000-crore category, we have on the list, the Kanpur-based writing instruments giant: Rotomac Global Pvt. Ltd., which is a part of the famed Kothari group that owes Rs 2,850 crore.
- The others in this 2,000-crore bracket include:
- Kudos Chemie, Punjab: Rs 2,326 crore
- Baba Ramdev and Balkrishna’s group company, Ruchi Soya Industries Ltd., Indore: Rs 2,212 crore
- Zoom Developers Pvt. Ltd., Gwalior: Rs 2,012 crore
- In the Rs 1K crore segment, we have 18 companies. Some of them are:
- Harish R. Mehta’s Ahmedabad-based Forever Precious Jewellery & Diamonds Pvt. Ltd.: Rs 1,962 crore
- Liquor baron Vijay Mallya’s defunct Kingfisher Airlines Ltd.: Rs 1,943 crore.
- Another 25 companies fall in the sub-1K-crore category with outstandings ranging from Rs 605 crore to Rs 984 crore, either individually or as group companies.
Six among the 50 top wilful defaulters are connected with the glittering diamond and/or gold jewellery industries.
No industry is sacrosanct as the top 50 willful defaulters are spread across various sectors of the economy including IT, infrastructure, power, gold-diamond jewellery, pharma, etc.