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‘SBI wrote off bad loans worth over Rs 20,000cr last fiscal’

Published : Tuesday, 13 February, 2018 at 12:00 AM Count : 553

NEW DELHI, Feb 11: The country's largest lender SBI wrote off bad loans worth ?20,339 crore in 2016-17, the highest among all the public sector banks which had a collective write-off of Rs 81,683 crore for the fiscal.
The data pertains to the period when the associate banks of State Bank of India (SBI) were not merged with it. Public sector banks' (PSBs) write-off stood at Rs 27,231 crore in 2012-13, government data showed.
The figure has jumped almost three-fold in five years.
In 2013-14, the state-owned banks wrote off bad loans worth Rs 34,409 crore; Rs 49,018 crore in 2014-15; Rs 57,585 crore in 2015-16, hitting Rs 81,683 in the fiscal ended March 2017. In the current financial year, PSBs have written off loans worth Rs 53,625 crore in the six months to September.
As per data from the Reserve Bank, nine public sector banks, out of the total 21, had gross non-performing asset ratio of above 15per cent (the per centage of bad loans in terms of total loans outstanding) as of September 30, 2017. Fourteen PSBs have gross non-performing asset ratio of over 12per cent.
PSBs face mounting non-performing assets (NPAs) or bad loans, putting the financial sector under stress. The government has unveiled a Rs 2.11 lakh crore capital infusion plan for the PSBs, including via bonds, in the next two years.
Meanwhile, The RBI has said that ?500 and ?1,000 notes, returned to banks when the government demonetised high value currency 15-months ago, are still being "processed for their arithmetical accuracy and genuineness."
This is being done in an "expedited manner," the central bank said. "Specific bank notes are being processed for their arithmetical accuracy and genuineness and the reconciliation for the same is ongoing. This information can, therefore, be shared on completion of the process and reconciliation," the RBI said in reply to an RTI application.
 To a query on the number of demonetised notes, it said, "..subject to future corrections if any, arising in the course of verification process, the estimated value of specified bank notes received as on June 30, 2017 is ?15.28 trillion (lakh crore)." Asked to provide the details of the deadline for finishing the counting of demonetised notes, the RBI said "specified bank notes are being processed in an expedited manner." As on date, 59 sophisticated currency verification and processing (CVPS) machines are in operation in RBI for the purpose, it said. The reply did not specify the location of the machines.
The RBI will also soon have greater flexibility in terms of managing its liquidity operations with the addition of one more tool 'Standing Deposit Facility Scheme' to its kit. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, in his Budget, had proposed to amend the RBI Act to empower the central bank to come up with an additional instrument for liquidity management. The proposal forms part of the Finance Bill 2018 which is scheduled to be approved by Parliament by March 31.
 "That is to provide one more tool for liquidity management. There is no more MSS (market stabilisation scheme)," Economic Affairs Secretary S. C. Garg told PTI.
The RBI proposed in November 2015 the introduction of the SDF by suitably amending the RBI Act. This would provide the RBI a new tool for liquidity management, particularly in times when the money market liquidity is in excess to deal with post-demonetisation like scenario.    PTI

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