FM Statement on Bad Loans of PSBs

Published on February 10, 2020
Current context: Finance Minister (FM) Nirmala Sitharaman said public sector banks' (PSBs) bad loans came down to Rs 7.27 lakh crore at the end of September 2019.
FM Statement on Bad Loans of PSBs 
  • The statement was given in the written reply to a question in the Lok Sabha on 10th February 2020.
  • FM Nirmala Sitharaman also said that the government has instituted:
    1. Comprehensive reforms in PSBs to improve, governance, underwriting, monitoring and recovery, and
    2. Leveraged technology in all aspects of banking, resulting in reduction in their NPAs
    3. She said that the bad loans of PSBs has come down from Rs 8.96 lakh crore at the end of March 2018 to Rs 7.27 lakh crore at the end of September 2019.
    4. The highest provision coverage ratio in seven-and-half years is observed with 12 out of 18 PSBs reporting profit in the first half of the current FY.
  • The specific reforms include:
    1. Empowerment of boards to recruit chief risk officers from the market at market-linked compensation.
    2. Mandate to boards to provide non-official directors necessary training and Undertake annual peer evaluation of their performance.
    3. Facilitate and incentivise lending through successive cuts in lending rates.
    4. Linking of loans for micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) to an external benchmark rate.
    5. Relief to banks' cash reserve ratio requirement.
    6. The Advisory Board for Banking and Financial Frauds has been set up for distinguishing between commercial failure and criminal action cases of suspected frauds over Rs 50 crore, before initiation of investigation by the Central Bureau of Investigation.
    7. Prevention of Corruption Act has been amended to prohibit conduct of inquiry, etc.

Question: 

Q.1 As per the Finance Ministry data, the Public sector banks' (PSBs) bad loans was reported to be Rs __________ lakh crore at the end of September 2019? 
a. 3.69
b. 4.98
c. 7.27
d. 9.68

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