NPAs of public sector banks on the rise

SBIs NPAs increased to 5.16% in Sept

The non-performing assets (NPAs) of public sector banks rose close to one percentage point from 3.17 per cent to 4.01 per cent in six months to September 2012, the government informed Parliament on Thursday.

To improve the health of financial sector, reduce NPAs and improve asset quality of banks and to prevent slippages, the Reserve Bank of India has issued instructions that each bank is required to have a loan recovery policy, Minister of State for Finance, Namo Narain Meena, informed the Rajya Sabha.

The banks are required to monitor their NPAs and take steps to bring them down through upgradation, recovery or loan write-off. The RBI also monitors the NPA levels in banks.

The government has also asked the public sector banks for a number of new initiatives to increase the pace of recovery and manage NPAs, which include appointment of nodal officers for recovery, to conduct special drives for recovery of loss assets and to put an early warning system in place.

NPAs of the largest public sector bank, the State Bank of India group, too increased to 5.16 per cent in September from 4.36 per cent in March this year, Meena said.

Banking experts have, however maintained that the asset quality of banks will remain under pressure in coming months due to sluggishness in the economy and high interest rates.

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