New Delhi, August 11, 2017

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Friday said the Centre has not written off a single rupee of the corporate loan and ticked off a Congress member for insinuating that the government was soft on the business sector.

“You should get your facts checked before repeating it again and again... the government has not written off even a single rupee of the corporate loan,” Jaitley told the Lok Sabha during Question Hour.

Congress member Deepender Hooda had claimed that the Modi government in the past three years has written off Rs 59,547 crore worth corporate loans but had not paid heed to the farm sector that was in distress.

Jaitley said the current problem of non-performing assets of banks was mainly too large lending to the industry during the economic boom before 2014. The NPAs grew because of “adverse economic conditions” and the piling up of interest on these loans did not stop.

He also rejected Hooda's claims that the banks had not written off any farm loans. Jaitley said the RBI had reported that the reduction of NPAs due to write offs in agriculture sector and allied activities during 2016-17 in respect of scheduled commercial banks is to the tune of Rs 7,548 crore.

Jaitley also said that the Centre had invested Rs 2.92 lakh in the agricultural sector to boost the economy through crop insurances, road and housing projects and other such projects.

[The Deccan Herald]