New Delhi, July 24 (IANS) Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Monday introduced in the Lok Sabha a bill which allows the Centre to authorise the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to direct banks to initiate recovery proceedings against loan defaulters.
The Banking Regulation (Amendment) Bill will replace an Ordinance that enabled this earlier.
The recovery proceedings would be under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016, that provides for a time-bound process to resolve defaults.
Trinamool Congress member Saugata Roy opposed the introduction of the Bill. “It is a desperate step by a desperate government,” Roy said.
“The same RBI is being authorised to regulate banks which has till date not been able to give (the total) amount of money deposited in banks after demonetisation,” Roy said.
Non-performing assets (NPAs) of banks have risen to over Rs 9 lakh crore and the RBI is now being given power to refer these cases to the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board, he added.
He demanded the Bill to be sent to a parliamentary committee.
Jaitley responded that the objections raised by Roy had nothing to do with the introduction of the Bill.
“The issues raised by him can be discussed when the Bill comes up for discussion,” the Minister said, after which it was introduced in the house.
Last month, the RBI identified 12 large loan defaulters who account for 25 per cent of the total NPAs, or bad loans, in the banking sector.
Action has already begun under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code against some of these defaulters, including Essar Steel, Bhushan Steel and Bhushan Power and Steel.