Banks’ bad debts coming down, profit margins going up: Sitharaman

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Tuesday said that Indian banks have not only witnessed their bad debts coming down but also their profit margins going up.

New Delhi, Dec 5 : Stating that banks’ health conditions have steadily been improving over the years, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Tuesday said that Indian banks have not only witnessed their bad debts coming down but also their profit margins going up.

Replying to a question in Rajya Sabha, Sitharaman said that Indian banks have performed well even as banks collapsed in the US, Germany and Switzerland.

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“In 2022-23, scheduled commercial banks’ net NPA (non-performing assets) ratio as a percentage has come down to 0.95. And it has come down to 1.24 in public sector banks,” Sitharaman said.

The Minister said that action is being taken against willful defaulters for recovering the bank money.

“As of March 31, 2023, legal suits for recovery were filed against 13,978 accounts. Action under SARFESI (Securitisation and Reconstruction of Financial Assets and Enforcement of Securities Interest Act) have been initiated against 11,483 cases. FIRs have been filed in 5,674 cases. Aggregate amounts of Rs 33,801 crores have been recovered till 31-3-2023.,” she said.

The Minister said that constant action is being taken by CBI, ED, Income Tax (department) and others to recover money from willful defaulters as well as others.

During the course of reply, she also alleged that during UPA rule ‘phone banking’ was used to give loans to those who were not credit worthy and as a result banks slipped into losses.

The Minister also highlighted that India was once among the fragile five countries but now under Prime Minister Narendra Modi it was the fastest-growing economy in the world.