Kathmandu, February 18:

The Ministry of Finance (MoF) has sent letters today to all the ministries seeking their cooperation in taking action against 80-blacklisted loan defaulters associated with 17 leading business groups.

The government has decided to annul the passports, put restriction on transferring ownership of or selling fixed and movable-assets, and restrict assuming the position of director or promoter in any company.

Bimal Prasad Wagle, joint secretary at the MoF today confirmed that it has already sent letters to all the concerned ministries and requested to act accordingly. The government is implementing the cabinet decision of December 15 that deleg-ated authority to the MoF to

ta-ke action against business hou-ses and persons that have defaulted over Rs 50 million on commercial banks’ loans (principal).

The decision was taken by the minister level meeting on Wednesday on the basis of names recommended by six leading commercial banks through Nepal Rastra Bank (NRB). These businessmen have in total defaulted Rs 12 billion from six commercial banks. According to the MoF, six commercial banks include Nepal Bank Ltd, Rastriya Banijya Bank, Nepal Industrial & Commercial Bank Ltd, Nabil Bank Ltd, Himalayan Bank Ltd and Lumbini Bank Ltd.

The big wilful-defaulters have also been disqualified from trading in treasury bills and savings certificates, and from receiving medals and decorations conferred by the state. Moreover, they will not be awarded any public positions from now onwards and they cannot even register a new company in their names.

However, the blacklisted defaulters will be permitted to sell their fixed assets, including treasury bills and savings certificates for the purpose of servicing their outstanding financial liabilities. Likewise, treasury bills and savings certificates owned by defaulters can be liquidated only for repaying their loans.

In the budget speech for the current fiscal year, the government had asked all the blacklisted borrowers to reschedule or restructure the loans by mid-September 2006. However, the-se businessmen and groups didn’t respond to government within the stipulated time.

Among the 17 business houses, Amatya Group is the largest, with a defaulted amount of

Rs 3.60 billion — Rs 1.30 billion principal and Rs 2.30 billion in interest. Altogether eight

borrowers of Amatya group are losing passports and will be restricted in selling fixed assets.

Likewise, six borrowers associated with the Biratnagar-based Mangaturam Group, which has defaulted over Rs 1.8 billion, are also being punished. Similarly, two borrowers from bankrupt Necon Air are losing their passports. Necon Air has defaulted Rs 400 million.

Mahalaxmi Sugar Mills, which was blacklisted in April 2001, has defaulted Rs 1.40 billion. As per the recommendation of RBB, leader of the lending consortium, the government is taking against the two borrowers from Mahalaxmi, including Birendra Kumar Kanaudiya.

According to the government’s latest report, over 2,900 blacklisted borrowers have defaulted around Rs 30 billion by the end of fiscal year 2005-06.

With love from Mumbai

KATHMANDU: Finance Minister Dr Ram Sharan Mahat today afternoon telephoned the senior officials at MoF from Mumbai and asked the source of news report that revealed the government’s move to take action against 80 blacklisted defaulters. Dr Mahat, who is currently in Mumbai, India participating in the Second SAARC Business Leaders Conclave, jointly organised by SAARC Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI), reportedly expressed concern over the news-leak. Later, journalists waiting at MoF for the complete name list of those 80-defaulters were refused to avail the list. The officials at the ministry, however, said the list is yet to be verified and couldn’t be made available. — HNS

Under scanner

1. Amatya Group

2. Mahalaxmi Sugar Mills

3. Mangaturam Group

4. Necon Air

5. Cross Country Hotel

6. Mittal Group

7. Sahani Group

8. Sarraf Group

9. Lohani Group (Biswas Garments)

10. Rohit Group

11. Annapurna Textiles

12. Pashupati Textiles

13. Sanyam Vegetables

14. Laxmi Acharya Group

15. Harati Hotel

16. Himgiri Textile

17. Ashok Group