Monday, March 22, 2010

Almost 3 years and bank yet to recover it's overdue loan amount

One of the key thrust areas announced by the Government when Dorjee Khandu took over the reign of state from the then Chief Minister Gegong Apang was to revive the sick lone state owned bank Apex Bank and to re-instill the faith of customers'. In this direction, the state government had taken a loan of Rs. 225 Crores from Hydro Power giant NHPC Limited at an interest rate of 9% per annum to be adjusted against the 'free power' to the state from 2000 MW Subansiri Lower H.E. Project after its' commissioning. With that amount the government somehow managed to make the bank sail through the phase, when the bank was in the verge of collapsing and to retain its' license. And in order to re-instill the customers' loyalty, the government announced rigorous recovery drive from the defaulters and to hand over the inquiry to CBI for all the mess that the lone state owned bank fell into. That was during the second quarter of year 2007.

Now coming back to present, it has been around 3 years since the announcement and Dorjee Khandu has been re-instated to 2nd term in office. So, where do our government stand on that front? Was the government or the bank able to completely recover the overdue loan amount from defaulting customers in these 3 years? I guess not. Because, through the March 18th edition of 'The Arunachal Times', the Apex bank has announced launching of recovery drive from May, 1st and has offered OTS (One Time Settlement) Scheme to settle the overdue loans of the defaulters.

Apex bank to launch recovery drive

ITANAGAR: Apex Bank authority has decided to launch recovery drive against defaulting borrowers from the first of May next.

The bank has launched one time settlement (OTS) scheme to settle the overdue loans of the defaulters, a release of the Bank said, and requested all the defaulters to opt for the scheme at the earliest.

The bank further appealed to the state and central govt authorities to obtain ‘no objection certificate’ from the bank before releasing any payment to their contractors/suppliers which would help the bank recover dues.

But, when government announced rigorous recovery drive almost 3 years back what took it so long for the bank to launch the recovery drive? But hey! if I remember well, didn't the bank earlier also announced one time settlement (OTS) scheme for settlement of overdue loans? If so, then how many more OTS scheme would be offered to the defaulting customers'? Is the bank and the government indeed serious about recovering the loaned out amount from the defaulting customers? Or as I put earlier, was it (announcement of rigorous recovery drive and CBI inquiry into the Apex Bank mismanagement) a gimmick just to subdue the initial outrage of people who felt cheated off their hard earned money?


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