NPAs over Rs.8 lakh crore, banks will be given funds: Sinha

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Gurgaon, March 4 (IANS) Reiterating the government’s determination to deal with the high level of over Rs.8 lakh crore of non-performing assets (NPAs), or bad debts, of state-run banks, Minister of State for Finance Jayant Sinha on Friday said it has a good understanding of the problem and will continue to provide funds to strengthen the banks.

“We have now a very good sense of stressed assets. We believe that the stressed assets are about Rs.8 lakh crore of the total advances of public and private sector banks,” he said at the second Gyan Sangam conclave of heads of state-run financial institutions here.

“We have about about 11.25 percent of the numbers of stressed assets in the system right now. The good news in all of this is two-fold that – the set of stressed assets are stabilised, we know where they are and we know how to deal with them.

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“We will continue to work with those numbers to see how we can further expedite and strengthen the recovery process for these stressed assets,” he added.

Continuing government efforts to deal with the high levels of NPAs of state-run banks, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has allocated Rs.25,000 crore towards their recapitalisation in the next fiscal.

Rs.25,000 crore capital each will be given in the current and next fiscals, while Rs.20,000 crore would be provided during 2017-18 and 2018-19.

“We will provide more as necessary to ensure that our banks are well capitalised,” Sinha said.

Noting that the Reserve Bank of India had, earlier this week, made certain changes to banks’ regulatory capital requirement norms that will further strengthen their balance sheets, Sinha said: “We think we now have a very good control over the NPA situation and, of course, are working very closely with the RBI.”

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The RBI on Tuesday allowed banks to apply gains from revaluation of property to core capital requirements under certain conditions. It also allowed conversions of foreign currency in financial statements to be counted as common equity capital, as well as eased rules on counting deferred tax assets.

India’s central bank said it was amending the treatment of certain balance sheet items in determining banks’ regulatory capital, for further aligning these to the international Basel III capital standards.

As per estimates, public sector banks need up to Rs.240,000 crore by 2018 to meet the Basel III capital adequacy norms.

The two-day conference, opened by Sinha, is being atended by RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan, Financial Services Secretary Anjuly Chib Duggal and other senior finance ministry officials.

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Duggal said that steps on strengthening the legal framework for recovery by banks would be announced soon.

“They may be announced on Saturday,” she said.

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