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CIC again asks PMO, RBI to disclose wilful defaulters' list

CIC again asks PMO, RBI to disclose wilful defaulters list

New Delhi: Severely admonishing the RBI and the PMO, the Central Information Commission has again directed them to disclose the list of wilful defaulters and Raghuram Rajan's letter on bad loans.

In an exhaustive 66-page order, the panel pulled up the Prime Minister's Office for not complying with its directive to disclose the letter from former RBI Governor Rajan on bad loans.

Information Commissioner Sridhar Acharyulu said, "If there is any objection based on an exception, the PMO should have pleaded such provision and justify their denial."

He said the PMO refused to comply with the direction of disclosure of action on Rajan's letter on "grounds which are not legal, which is unfortunate".

The commission had earlier issued a show cause notice to RBI Governor Urijit Patel for "dishonouring" a Supreme Court judgment and CIC directive on disclosure of the list of wilful defaulters.

The PMO has a "moral, constitutional and political duty" to tell the citizens of India as to who are the defaulters and what action has been taken to recover the large loans advanced to them by banks, from out of taxpayer's money, he said.

He again directed the PMO to disclose the names of the defaulters, action taken for recovery of loans in response to Rajan's letter and the policy, if any, about recovery from defaulters including high-profile ones.

Meanwhile,the ongoing rift with the government is set to play out at the RBI's crucial board meeting Monday, with the Finance Ministry nominees and some independent directors expected to take on Governor Urjit Patel and his team over issues ranging from MSME credit to the central bank's reserves, though both sides are in favour of reaching a common ground.

While there have been reports and demands from some quarters for the Governor to step down, sources said Patel is unlikely to yield under pressure.

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