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  • Jan 10, 2000 - Highlight of bankers meet to reduce Non performing assets

Highlight of bankers meet to reduce Non performing assets

Jan 10, 2000

The finance ministers meeting with bank chiefs on the 12th of January is mainly to discuss the problems of non-performing assets (NPA's). The gross NPA's in FY99 have gone up in absolute terms to Rs 330.69 bn (16.02%of gross assets) and net NPA's to Rs 157.94 bn (8.35% of net assets) as compared to FY98 figures of gross NPA's of Rs301.3 bn (16.88% of gross assets) and net NPA's of Rs144.98 bn (8.91% of net assets). Though the figures for NPA's have gone up in absolute terms, on percentages terms there seem to be an improvement in FY99 in the NPA levels of banks. However this may have come about because of the better economic scenario and not because of efforts put in by the banks. Indian banks have been trying to bring down their NPA levels in the last couple of years and have succeeded to a certain extent. However the slowdown in the industry in the last 2-3 years bad loans had resulted in increased NPA's.

The current meeting that has been called is largely to address these critical issues relating to reduction in NPA's. The bank chiefs' concerns is a positive sign though, much will depend on the governments' efforts to this effect. Also other critical issues which need to be addressed are the speeding up of the loan recovery process, improvement in the public sector banks credit appraisal systems and the need to define good governance. There is a strong need to have higher protection for lending banks, as the present legal system is so old that recovery of a bad loan can sometimes take many years.

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