June 13, 2018:
21 Nationalised Banks, including the State Bank of India have combined losses over Rs 87,300 crore in 2017-18 fiscal.
There was a sharp political divide at a meeting Tuesday of Parliamentary Standing Committee on Finance when BJD Member Bhartruhari Mahtab sought to know fate of the panel’s draft report related to demonetisation and BJP members objected, calling it a “biased” draft report.
Soon after the members assembled, Mahtab, asked Panel Chairman and Congress Veteran Veerappa Moily: Where has the draft report on the ‘Demonetisation of Indian currency notes of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 and ramifications thereof’ gone?
He said Committee was already done with the report on the related matter of ‘Transformation towards a digital economy’.
BJP members Kirit Somaiya and Nishikant Dubey, sources said, called it a “biased” draft report.
At this, Moily stated that he would want a final report after consensus. Moily further added that he did not want any voting or dissenting notes.
Matter has been deferred because Reserve Bank of India Governor Urjit Patel, who was scheduled to appear before Committee, had already arrived and was being made to wait in an adjoining room.
As the committee took up Scheduled agenda, Urjit Patel stated that RBI needed more powers to oversee Public Sector Banks (PSBs).
Members questioned him for four hours on issues concerning the banking sector, challenges and the way forward and the non-performing assets of banks.
Urjit Patel, in his written submissions to Committee maintained that RBI had inadequate control over PSBs.
He added that RBI should have powers to remove and appoint Chairman and Managing Directors; grant licences and impose conditions while giving them; approve the appointment, re-appointment and termination of appointment of a chairman, managing director or whole time Directors of a Manager or a Chief Executive Officer; call a meeting of Directors of Bank concerned, depute one or more of its officers to board meetings, appoint observers and require the bank to make changes in the management the RBI may consider necessary; remove managerial and other persons from office; and, supersede the board of directors.
Gross Non-Performing Assets (NPA) of entire banking sector stood at Rs 8.31 lakh crore at end-December 2017. There are a total of 21 state-owned banks, including the State Bank of India. Their combined losses crossed Rs 87,300 crore in 2017-18 fiscal, topped by scam-tainted Punjab National Bank which took a hit of nearly Rs 12,283 crore.
Of the 21 state-owned banks, only two, Indian Bank and Vijaya Bank, posted profits during 2017-18. Indian Bank posted the highest profit of Rs 1,258.99 crore and Vijaya Bank’s profit was Rs 727.02 crore in the fiscal.
The RBI Governor told the committee that the major challenge faced by the Indian banking sector today was on account of the stress in asset quality faced by the scheduled commercial banks (SCBs), which account for 88 per cent of the banking system.