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Government may reduce stake in banks to 52 percent: Jaitley

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By NewsGram staff writer

Mumbai: Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, regarding the concerns about levels of non-performing assests (NPAs) or bad debts, of public sector banks, said that government may consider reducing its stake in them to 52 pre cent.

Addressing the annual meeting of Indian Banks’ Association here, he also said state-run banks have to be freed from political interference in decision-making and their decisions should be based only on banking merits.

“Efforts are on to give shape the banking bureau and to professionalize all personnel issues. We are willing to look at changes. We have appointed a panel headed by Justice AP Shah to find options of hiring best quality talent,” he said.

Taking the first step towards a holding company structure for state-run banks, the government last month announced the setting up of a Banks Board Bureau (BBB) that will recommend appointment of directors in PSBs and advice on ways of raising funds and dealing with issues of stressed assets.

Jaitley has allocated Rs.7, 940 crore in the budget for recapitalization of public sector banks in this fiscal.

In December, the union cabinet had allowed state-run banks to raise up to Rs.160, 000 crore from the capital markets by diluting the government stake in phases to 52 percent.

As per an estimate, public sector banks would need additional capital of up to Rs.240, 000 crore by 2018 to meet the Basel III capital adequacy norms, put in place to guard against a repeat of the situation following the 2008 US financial crisis.
Jaitley also said the government was getting ready to unveil a draft for a bankruptcy code by early October.

“The bankruptcy code draft will be put out by early next month and would be taken to parliament from there. Resolution of disputes with relation of contracts law will be passed by the end of the fiscal,” he said.

 

(With inputs from IANS)

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India to Withdraw Pakistan’s ‘Most Favoured Nation’ Status

The Ministry of Commerce will issue the necessary communication in this regard, Jaitley added.

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Arun Jaitley
Jaitley said that the CCS observed a two-minute silence for those who made the ultimate sacrifice and expressed their condolences to the bereaved families. Wikimedia

Union Minister Arun Jaitley on Friday said that the government has decided to withdraw the “Most Favoured Nation” status given to Pakistan, in the wake of the worst-ever terror attack in Jammu and Kashmir a day ago when a CRPF convoy in Pulwama was rammed into by an explosive-packed SUV that has left 45 troopers dead.

The decision was taken at a meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi after the suicide attack on Thursday that proved to be the most devatating since militancy erupted in 1989.

Speaking to the media after the meeting, Jaitley said: “The most favoured nation status which has been granted to Pakistan stands withdrawn.”

Arun Jaitley
“The most favoured nation status which has been granted to Pakistan stands withdrawn.” Pixabay

The Ministry of Commerce will issue the necessary communication in this regard, he added.

“The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) will initiate all possible steps, and I am referring to all diplomatic steps, which are to be taken to ensure the complete isolation from the international community of Pakistan of which incontrovertible evidence are available of having the direct hand in this gruesome terrorist attack,” Jaitley said.

The MEA in due course will keep you informed with regard to steps taken, he added.

Jaitley said that the MEA would also engage with the international community to make sure that the Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism which has been pending for over three decades with the UN, particularly because of the definition of the word terrorism, must be adopted at the earliest.

 

Arun Jaitley
“The most favoured nation status which has been granted to Pakistan stands withdrawn.”, says Jaitley. Pixabay

Besides Modi and Jaitley, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, Home Minister Rajnath Singh and Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman were also present at the meeting.

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Jaitley said that the CCS observed a two-minute silence for those who made the ultimate sacrifice and expressed their condolences to the bereaved families. At least 38 others continue in hospitals with injuries in the attack that has left the security establishment stunned.

He said the CRPF of course will make detailed arrangement with regard to transporting the bodies of the deceased to their families. (IANS)