RTI reply reveals SBI’s NPA to be around Rs. 20,000 crore
An application was filed with the corporate office of State Bank of India under the Right to Information (RTI) Act seeking to get the list of non-performing assets (NPAs) of Rs. one crore or more, names and addresses of respective customers. The applicant also requested the bank to upload these details on its website.
In the reply, the SBI DGM (RTI) and Central Public Information Officer (PIO) provided only the number of defaulters along with the total outstanding amount. The reply stated that the total number of NPAs above Rs. 1 crore is 2254 and the total due is Rs. 19891.06 crore. However, the bank declined to disclose the names of the defaulters stating that the sought information was of ‘commercial confidence’ between the bank and the third party making it exempt under the RTI Act due to its fiduciary nature. Under the RTI Act, information related to 'commercial confidence' is exempt from disclosure 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; while that of fiduciary nature is exempt from disclosure under section 8(1)(e).
The aggrieved applicant then filed the first appeal but the First Appellate Authority upheld the decision of PIO. Now, the appellant has approached the Central Information Commission citing an earlier CIC decision in which it had asked RBI to disclose names of defaulters of PSU banks on the bank's website.