RTI activist Gokhale said ” I filed this RTI because Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and Minister of State for Finance Anurag Thakur, refused to reply to this starred question asked in parliament by Congress MP Rahul Gandhi, in the last budget session, on Feb 16, 2020,”
Disclosing what the government didn’t, the RBI’s Central Public Information Officer Abhay Kumar provided the replies on Saturday (April 24), with several startling revelations in the ‘diamond-studded list’, said Gokhale.
The RBI said that this amount (Rs 68,607-crore) comprising outstanding and the amounts technically/prudentially Written Off, till September 30, 2019.
Six among the 50 Top Wilful Defaulters are connected with the glittering diamond and/or gold jewellery industries mainly based in Gujarat state.
“The apex bank also declined to provide the relevant information on overseas borrowers citing a Supreme Court judgement of December 16, 2015,” Gokhale said.
“A majority of them have defaulted prominent nationalist banks over the past several years and many of them are either absconding or facing action by various probe agencies and some are under litigation,” Gokhale added.
[splco_quote]Topping the list is Choksi’s scam-hit company, Gitanjali Gems Limited which owed Rs.5,492 crore, besides other group companies, Gili India Ltd. and Nakshatra Brands Ltd. which had taken loans of Rs 1,447 crore and Rs 1,109 crore, respectively. [/splco_quote]
Choksi is currently a citizen of Antigua & Barbados Isles, while his nephew and another absconder diamond trader Nirav Modi is in London.
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The second in the list is REI Agro Ltd., with an amount of Rs 4,314 crores, and its directors Sandip Jhujhunwala and Sanjay Jhunjhunwala who are already under the scanner of the Enforcement Directorate (ED) since over a year.
The next on the list in the Rs 4,000-crore bracket is absconding diamantaire Jatin Mehta’s Winsome Diamonds & Jewellery owing Rs 4,076 crore and which is being probed by the Central Bureau of Investigation for various bank frands.
In the Rs 2,000-crore category, there is the Kanpur-based writing instruments giant, Rotomac Global Pvt. Ltd., part of the famed Kothari group, which owed Rs 2,850 crore.
The others in this category include: Kudos Chemie, Punjab (Rs.2,326 crore),
Baba Ramdev and Balkrishna’s group company Ruchi Soya Industries Ltd., Indore (Rs.2,212 crore), and
Zoom Developers Pvt. Ltd., Gwalior (Rs.2,012 crore).
There are 18 companies in the Rs.1000 Crores segment with some prominent names like Harish R. Mehta’s Ahmedabad-based Forever Precious Jewellery & Diamonds Pvt. Ltd. (Rs.,1962 crore), and absconder 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.