Finance Minister Piyush Goyal will meet the heads of public sector banks next week to discuss a host of issues including credit offtake and bad loan position of lenders, according to sources. Goyal, who has been given an additional charge of the finance ministry on Wednesday in the absence of Arun Jaitley, is scheduled to meet chiefs of the state-owned banks on Monday to review financial performance of the banks.
Among the key issues, the meeting will take up the matter of credit flow to MSMEs, agriculture and retail sectors. Besides, sources said, the meeting will also review financial performance of the banks for the nine months ended December 2018. Non-performing assets (NPAs) would also come up for deliberation, they added.
Public sector banks (PSBs) have seen decline in bad loans by over Rs 23,000 crore from a peak of Rs 9.62 lakh crore in March 2018 due to various initiatives taken by the government. At the same time, PSBs have also made a record in recovery of Rs 60,726 crore in the first half of the current financial year, which is more than double the amount recovered in the corresponding period last year.
According to the latest finance ministry data, non-NPA accounts overdue by 31 to 90 days (Special Mention Accounts 1 & 2) of PSBs have declined by 61 per cent over five successive quarters - from Rs 2.25 lakh crore as of June 2017 to Rs 0.87 lakh crore in September 2018. In his first stint as finance minister for 100 days last year, Goyal was instrumental in setting up a committee headed by non-executive chairman of Punjab National Bank Sunil Mehta to examine whether creation of an asset reconstruction company or asset management company would help in faster resolution of stressed assets.