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Vinod Rai writes to FM, PMO on bad loans, roadmap

Vinod Rai writes to FM, PMO  on bad loans, roadmap
Expressing concerns over mounting bad loans, Banks Board Bureau (BBB) Chief Vinod Rai has written to Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and Prime Minister's Office underlining the tardy progress made by state-owned lenders in resolving the issue of Non Performing Assets.

The former CAG, in a letter marked to Principal Secretary to Prime Minister Nripendra Misra, has also suggested a roadmap to wriggle out of the NPA problem being faced mainly by public sector banks (PSBs), official sources said.

The letter, they said, has suggested expansion of ambit of Oversight Committee to provide guidance under other available mechanisms, including deep restructuring, Joint Lenders Forum (JLR) and Strategic Debt Restructuring (SDR). Bad loans of PSBs rose by about Rs 1 lakh crore during the April-December period of 2016-17, the bulk of which are accounted for by the infrastructure sector -- power, steel, roads -- and textiles.

Jaitley last week held a high level meeting with senior officials, RBI Governor Urjit Patel and two deputy governors S S Mundra and Viral V Acharya to deliberate on the ways to resolve stressed assets in the banking sector.

Gross NPAs of public sector banks increased to Rs 6,06,911 crore while total stressed assets (gross non-performing assets and restructured standard advances) of scheduled commercial banks were Rs 9.64 lakh crore as on December 31, 2016.

As of September-end, the banks' total stressed loans were Rs 8,97,000 crore. This is a 7.5 per cent growth in stressed loans from September to December-end.

Earlier this week, Jaitley had said the RBI has set up an Oversight Committee to look into process of the cases referred to it by the different banks.

"Seeing the response and its performance, the government is considering multiplication of such committees," he had said.

BBB was set up as an advisory body by the government last year to recommend on the appointment of directors at PSBs and advise on ways to raise funds and merger and acquisitions to the lenders among other things.

Last year, the government expanded its role to also help banks in their capital raising plans and develop business strategies.

As part of its extended role, the board was entrusted with the task of advising the government on extension of tenure or termination of services of the board of directors in state-run banks and financial institutions.

House panel tells AAI to probe K'fisher's accumulated dues

The Airports Authority of India (AAI) should carry out a probe into how the defunct Kingfisher Airlines was allowed to accumulate dues worth nearly Rs 295 crore, a Parliamentary panel has said. Making the recommendation, the panel said AAI allowed the accumulation of dues to such a high level in violation of all the existing rules and procedures in practice. Bogged down by financial woes, Kingfisher Airlines was closed down in 2012. The carrier was promoted by businessman Vijay Mallya, who is wanted by Indian authorities in loan default and other cases.

At the end of December 2016, the airline owed dues worth Rs 294.69 crore to the AAI and the amount has been written off. The national airports operator has also filed a legal suit against the carrier to recover the dues. The recommendation has been made by the Department-related Parliamentary Standing Committee on Transport, Tourism and Culture in its report tabled in Parliament on March 17. The report is on the Demand for Grants (2017-18) of the Ministry of Civil Aviation. The panel has recommended that AAI may conduct an internal inquiry to "fix the responsibility of AAI officials for the accumulation of dues by Kingfisher Airlines". Stressing that the AAI should be cautious in future to ensure that "no individual stakeholder/airlines is accumulating such high levels of dues", the panel has called for strengthening of the system to prevent recurrence of such instances.
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