Public sector banks wrote off loans worth Rs 2.42 lakh crore between April 2014 and September 2017, the Centre said on Tuesday. In a written reply to a question in the Rajya Sabha, Minister of State for Finance Shiv Pratap Shukla said that borrowers continue to be liable to repay loans even after they have been written off.

The amount of loans written off between April 2014 and September 2017 was based on Reserve Bank of India’s data, Shukla said.

He refused to disclose information for each individual corporate borrower who was involved, citing the Reserve Bank of India’s rules of confidentiality. In response to another question, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said the government had taken several steps to secure the repayment of loans.

Responding on Facebook, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee called the figure of Rs 2.42 lakh crore “unbelievable” and said it was a “big, big, big scam”.

“I am shocked to see that at a time when the farmers in the country are crying and committing suicide over their loan burden and asking for waiver of farmers’ loan, the Government of India has not even considered that,” Banerjee said on Facebook.