As per Reserve Bank of India (RBI)’s data on global operations, aggregate gross advances of Public Sector Banks (PSBs) increased from Rs. 18,19,074 crore as on 31.3.2008 to Rs. 52,15,920 crore as on 31.3.2014. As per RBI inputs, the primary reasons for the spurt in stressed assets have been observed to be, inter-alia, aggressive lending practices, wilful default/loan frauds/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 Non-Performing Assets (NPAs). As a result of AQR and subsequent transparent recognition by banks, 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. Further, all such schemes for restructuring stressed loans were withdrawn. Primarily as a result of transparent recognition of stressed assets as NPAs, gross NPAs of PSBs, as per RBI data on global operations, rose from Rs. 2,79,016 crore as on 31.3.2015, to Rs. 8,95,601 crore as on 31.3.2018, and as a result of Government’s 4R’s strategy of recognition, resolution, recapitalisation and reforms, have since declined by Rs. 1,56,060 crore to Rs. 7,39,541 crore as on 31.3.2019 (provisional data on global operations for 31.3.2019 as reported by RBI on 2.7.2019).
Government has implemented a comprehensive 4R’s strategy, consisting of recognition of NPAs transparently, resolution and recovery of value from stressed accounts, recapitalising of PSBs, and reforms in PSBs and the wider financial ecosystem for a responsible and clean system. Comprehensive steps have been taken under the 4R’s strategy to reduce NPAs of PSBs, including, inter-alia, the following:
Enabled by the above steps, as per RBI data on global operations, the NPAs of PSBs, after reaching a peak of Rs. 8,95,601 crore as on 31.3.2018, have declined by Rs. 1,56,060 crore to Rs. 7,39,541 crore as on 31.3.2019 (provisional data), and PSBs have effected record recovery of Rs. 3,09,568 crore over the last four financial years, including record recovery of Rs. 1,21,076 crore during 2018-19 (provisional data).
As per RBI data on global operations as on 31.3.2019 (provisional data), the total funded amount outstanding of the top 100 NPA borrowers of PSBs was Rs. 3,22,108 crore, amounting to 43.6% of gross NPAs of PSBs.
As per inputs from RBI, lists of suit-filed wilful defaulters of Rs. 25 lakh and above and of suit-filed defaulters of Rs. 1 crore and above stand disclosed in public domain on the websites of Credit Information Companies (CICs) while the list of non-suit filed wilful defaulters is confidential in nature and is exempt from disclosure under section 45E of the Reserve Bank of India Act, 1934. No legislation to amend legal disclosability as above has been introduced by the Government. In this connection, RBI has apprised that confidentiality of information related to bank customers is a universally accepted phenomenon.
Note: Figures for PSBs for the financial year 2018-19 exclude those for IDBI Bank Limited, which was recategorised as a private sector bank by RBI with effect from 21.1.2019.
This was stated by Shri Anurag Singh Thakur, Minister of State for Finance & Corporate Affairs in a written reply to a question in Lok Sabha today.