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State-run banks’ outstanding corporate loans over Rs.2.3 lakh crore

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New Delhi: State-run banks had total outstanding corporate loans of over Rs.2.3 lakh crore by end of 2014-15, parliament was told on Tuesday.

“A sum of Rs.23,52,246.86 crore is outstanding corporate loan of the public sector banks (PSBs) as on March 31, 2015,” Minister of State for Finance Jayant Sinha told the Rajya Sabha in a written reply.

The minister said that among the major steps taken by the government along with the Reserve Bank of India for containment of banks’ non-performing assets (NPAs) include seting up six new “Debt Recovery Tribunals (at Chandigarh, Bengaluru, Ernakulum, Dehradun, Siliguri, Hyderabad) to speed up the recovery of bad loans of the banking sector”.

“RBI has tightened the norms for Asset Reconstruction Companies (ARCs), vide guidelines dated August 5, 2014, where the minimum investment in security receipts should be 15 percent, which was earlier 5 percent,” the minister said.

He said that on April 28, a meeting was convened at Mumbai to resolve the stalled projects’ issue.

Sinha said, earlier this month, the government is working on a comprehensive package to help stressed state-run banks and improve the flow of credit for industry.

The minister had also said the government was trying to improve corporate governance and strengthen management at state-run banks, while also overhauling annual targets for public sector lenders to increase the focus on efficiency.

According to the RBI, gross NPAs as a ratio of total loans could rise to 4.8 percent by September from 4.6 percent in March.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley last month said his ministry is currently preparing a list of projects stalled due to lack of finance to set in motion the process of their revival and thus bring down the NPAs of banks.

Gross non-performing assets, or distressed loans, of state-run banks have gone up to Rs.260,531 crore as in December 2014. In the fourth quarter (January-March), NPAs had come down from 5.64 to 5.2 percent.

As per the finance ministry’s Economic Survey published before February’s union budget, stalled projects as in December-end amounted to Rs.880,000 crore.

(IANS)

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Quota Reservation Bill Moved in Rajya Sabha

The Constitution (124th Amendment) Bill was passed after a division with 323 members voting in its favour and three against in the Lok Sabha on Tuesday

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The Rajya Sabha was adjourned till afternoon following protests by opposition members amidst a demand that the Constitution bill providing for upper castes reservation be sent to a Select Committee for detailed consideration even as the government sought to push ahead with its passage on the last day of the winter session on Wednesday.

With Lok Sabha having passed the Constitution (124th Amendment) bill providing for 10 per cent reservation for the economically weaker sections among the general category in government service and higher educational institutions, Social Justice Minister Thawarchand Gehlot moved it for consideration in the upper House.

CPI member D. Raja, who objected to the consideration of the bill, demanded that it be sent to a Select Committee and the House should first take a decision on it.

Madhusudhan Mistry of Congress said the Bill was not complete and told the government that it cannot have both introduction and voting on the same day. He asked what was the urgency in the passage of the Bill.

Members were also protesting against the “unilateral” extension of the session till Wednesday saying it was done without consulting the opposition. They said the Chair did not announce a day’s extension in the working days of the House nor did it seek the members’ consent.

Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Vijay Goel said the Congress was raising technical issues to stall the Bill. “If you openly oppose the Bill, it is different. Otherwise, let’s have a discussion on it as it has already been introduced,” he said.

Quota reservation bill moved in Rajya Sabha.

Moving the Bill, Gehlot said the Constitution does not allow reservation on economic basis and due to that poor people in general category miss out on opportunities.

“There was a complaint by poor of the general category that they could not avail of government benefits. The decision has been taken after much consideration. This bill will uplift the poor,” he said.

He appealed to the members to pass the bill unanimously. This was followed by the start of the debate by BJP member Prabhat Jha. But as shouting and uproar continued, Deputy Chairman Harivansh adjourned the House till 2 p.m.

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The Constitution (124th Amendment) Bill was passed after a division with 323 members voting in its favour and three against in the Lok Sabha on Tuesday.

Earlier in the day too, the House was adjourned once up to noon after protests by members on the “unilateral” extension. (IANS)