Bad loans menace: Over three dozen CAs under Reserve Bank lens

Bad loans menace: Over three dozen CAs under Reserve Bank lens

With the RBI cracking the whip on bad loans menace, more than three dozen chartered accountants are under the scanner for allegedly conniving with promoters in defaulting as well as restructuring the stressed assets, sources said.

At a time when more number of companies with stressed assets are coming under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, the central bank is also looking at the role of various key personnel associated with such entities. Sources said the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) is looking into the role of around 35 to 40 chartered accountants in loan defaults by various companies.

The regulator is looking to ascertain whether these chartered accountants helped the entities in any illegal manner causing deliberate defaults and subsequently assisting them in restructuring the dud assets, they added. Responses to queries sent to the chartered accountants’ apex ICAI on the issue were awaited. The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) works closely with the RBI on various issues.

The RBI lens on chartered accountants for suspected illegal activities with defaulting companies also come at a time when a substantial number of stressed assets are being taken up under the insolvency resolution mechanism. The NPA woes in the banking system have been further highlighted with the over Rs 13,000 crore scam at Punjab National Bank by diamond merchants Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi. A high level panel of the ICAI is already looking into the PNB fraud to understand the systemic issues involved and suggest remedial measures.

According to officials, around Rs 4.5 lakh crore worth of non-performing assets are under the insolvency resolution process. The Code, which provides for a market-determined and time-bound resolution framework, seeks to maximise the value of stressed assets rather than resorting to liquidation.

The Economic Times, New Delhi, 09th April 2018

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