The state government will have to write off loans it had issued to various industries as a result of inaction on the part of several government agencies. In a reply to an RTI application moved by The Indian Express, the directorate of industries has stated that a total of Rs 142.53 crore will have to written off as the loan disbursement agencies have failed to recover the amounts in time.
The loans in question were issued by the directorate of industries through the zilla parishads and district industry offices. The loans were disbursed for seed money scheme, district industrial central loan, rural industries project scheme, old employment promotion programme and zilla parishad loans.
The controlling authority for disbursement was the directorate of industries, but the distribution was done by various other agencies. The recovery work was also the responsibility of these agencies which distributed the loans.
The reply to the RTI query shows that as of March 2014, the total due amount was Rs 145.88 crore, of which during 2014-15, the recovery was Rs 3.35 crore only. The total outstanding amount as of March 2015 was Rs 142.53 crore – an average recovery of only 2.30 per cent.
The loans issued under the seed money scheme formed the largest chunk of unpaid dues with Rs 105.41 crore still to be recovered and the recovery percentage, a mere 3.01 per cent. For the other loans, the recovery percentage was even lesser, some standing at one percent.
The recovery percentage of both department loans (Rs 62 lakh) and zilla parishad loans (Rs 4.15 crore) stands at zero.
With the department of industries going on a major overdrive to facilitate setting up of new business, the writing off of bad loans puts a question mark on the process through which loans are disbursed. In particular, the directorate while answering a query put up by the Principal Accountant General, has admitted that in many cases the beneficiary was not traceable. “In cases, recovery is not possible as the beneficiary concerned is not traceable on the given address or the beneficiary is not in the condition to repay the loan,” said an officer of the department.
Senior officials said that the government has issued directions to several district industry centres (DIC)s to write off the loans.