Loans of over Rs 100 crores waived off by LIC denied by PIO u/s 8(1)(d) - CIC: procedure for sanction of loans of more than Rs 100 crore along with the norms and procedures prescribed for investment and monitoring of surplus funds to be provided
1. Appellant submitted RTI application dated 05 March, 2012 before the CPIO, LIC of India, Central Office, Mumbai seeking information related to the loans given and waived off (where the loan amount was more than Rs.100 crores) by LIC to various companies since 1st April 2007.
2. Vide CPIO Order dated 30 March 2012, CPIO denied the requisite information on the ground of exemption given under Section 8(1)(d) Notwithstanding anything contained in this Act, there shall be no obligation to give any citizen, information including commercial confidence, trade secrets or intellectual property, the disclosure of which would harm the competitive position of a third party, unless the competent authority is satisfied that larger public interest warrants the disclosure of such information; of the RTI Act,2005.
3. Not satisfied by the PIO’s reply, the Appellant preferred First Appeal to the First Appellate Authority dated 09 April 2012.
4. Vide FAA Order dated 04 May 2012, the FAA upheld the decision of the CPIO.
5. Being aggrieved and not satisfied by the above response of the Public Authority, the Appellant preferred Second Appeal before the Commission.
6. Matter was heard today. Appellant was not present. Respondent's made submissions via videoconferencing from Mumbai. Respondents have, in detail explained the prescribed procedure followed by the Corporation for sanctioning loans of more than Rs. 100 crore along with the prescribed procedure for monitoring these loans through stringent Assets and Liabilities Management. It was also explained that invariably, loans of this size are made through Lenders Consortium and information regarding debtors/ defaulters does not reflect the liability of LIC of India alone but that of the Lenders Consortium. The norms and procedures which govern the investment of surplus funds along with the monitoring mechanism including the obligation of the Corporation toward RBI in disclosure of defaulters etc was also explained. In respect of the second point of the RTI application, respondent outlined in detail the Composite Debt Restructuring process.
7. After hearing the averments of the respondents, Commission directs the CPIO to provide information to the appellant regarding prescribed procedure for sanctioning of loans of more than Rs 100 crore along with the norms and procedures prescribed for investment and monitoring of surplus funds along with obligations of the Corporation to keep the RBI informed. Appellant will also be informed that the RBI places the lists of defaulters on their website after following due procedure. This information can be accessed by the appellant on the official website of RBI.
8. After hearing the averments of the respondents, Commission directs in respect of point 2 of the RTI application that information in terms of numbers only (the names of the companies are not required to be given) will be furnished to the appellant for the period 2007 - 2010 within three weeks of receipt of the order. The disclosure of this information is in the interest of providing greater transparency in the management of public funds by the Corporation.
(Smt. Deepak Sandhu)
Information Commissioner (DS)
Citation: Shri Shyam Lal Yadav v. LIC of India in Appeal: No. CIC/DS/A/2012/002255