State banks see Rs 31,000 crore fall in Non-performing assets in nine months

New Delhi: Bad loans of public sector banks declined by more than Rs 31,000 crore to Rs 8,64,433 crore in the first nine months of the current fiscal as compared to end of March 2018, the government said on Friday. Non-performing assets (NPAs) or bad loans, of the banks stood at Rs 8,95,601 crore at the end of previous fiscal, Minister of State for Finance Shiv Pratap Shukla said in a written reply to Lok Sabha. Bad loans fell to Rs 8,75,619 crore as on June 2018 and further to Rs 8,64,433 crore in December 2018 (as per provisional data), he said.

Shukla said at present the government is not considering any proposal for privatisation of PSBs. He said bad loans fell by Rs 31,168 crore in April-December 2018-19 compared to NPAs worth Rs 8,95,601 crore at March-end 2018. NPAs declined as a result of the government’s 4Rs strategy of recognition, resolution, recapitalisation and reforms, Shukla said. “As per RBI inputs, the primary reasons for spurt in stressed assets have been…aggressive lending practices, wilful default or loan frauds or corruption in some cases, and economic slowdown. “Asset Quality Review (AQR) initiated in 2015 for clean and fully provisioned bank balance-sheets revealed high incidence of NPAs,” he said.

As a result of AQR and subsequent transparent recognition by PSBs, stressed accounts were reclassified as NPAs and expected losses on stressed loans, not provided for earlier under flexibility given to restructured loans, were provided for, he said. During the fourth quarter of 2017-18, all such schemes for restructuring stressed loans were withdrawn, he said.

“Primarily as a result of transparent recognition of stressed assets as NPAs, gross NPAs of PSBs as per RBI data on global operations, increased from Rs 2,27,264 crore as on March 31, 2014, to Rs 2,79,016 crore on March 31, 2015, Rs 5,39,968 crore on March 31, 2016 and Rs 6,84,732 crore as on March 31, 2017,” he said. With various steps taken by the government including the initiation of transparent recognition in 2015-16 till December 2018, PSBs have successfully recovered an amount of Rs 3,33,491 crore, he said.

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