Calcutta, July 19: The All India Bank Employees Association (AIBEA) has estimated loan defaults by companies in Bengal at Rs 4,967 crore till the second quarter of 2013-14.
The list comprises 437 accounts of over Rs 1 crore and includes advances made by both public and private banks. The companies listed by the trade union body have operations primarily within the state.
Calcutta-based public sector lender United Bank of India, which has been battling high non-performing assets, had 80 accounts during that period. Subsequently, the bank had undertaken a strong recovery course to lower its non-performing assets (NPAs).
According to the AIBEA, the Reserve Bank of India should publish the names of the defaulters and declare wilful defaults as criminal offence.
“We welcome the decision of the Supreme Court to publish the names of the defaulters and every bank should do it. We have already communicated our concerns over increasing bank NPAs to various stakeholders, including the government and the RBI,” Rajen Nager, president of the AIBEA, told The Telegraph.
The compiled figures are based on estimates of accounts over Rs 1 crore. “The actual amount could be more,” Nager said.
Bengal ranks fifth among the states arranged on the basis of the amount of non-performing loans after Maharashtra, Delhi, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu.
Till September 2013, the amount of bad loans of public sector banks stood at Rs 2.36 lakh crore, the AIBEA said.