Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman meets heads of PSBs, reviews financial performance

New Delhi, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Saturday held a meeting with heads of public sector banks and reviewed their financial performance. During the meeting, concerns related to cyber security and the risks on the financial sector were discussed, sources said.

Issues related to fraud and wilful defaulters and progress on the National Asset Reconstruction Company Ltd (NARCL) also came up for discussion, they said.

This is the probably last full review meeting before the presentation of Budget 2024-25 and general elections later next year.

On the performance front, PSU banks have earned a net profit of about Rs 68,500 crore during the first six months of the current financial year.

During 2022-23, it said banks’ balance sheets grew at a healthy pace, with both deposits and credit growth accelerating.

The Gross Non-Performing Assets (GNPA) ratio of Scheduled Commercial Banks (SCBs) fell to a decade low of 3.9 per cent at the end of March 2023 and further to 3.2 per cent in September. As per the report, the improvement in asset quality of banks that began in 2018-19 continued during 2022-23. The GNPA ratio stood at 3.2 per cent in the April-September period of the current fiscal. NARCL, a government entity, was incorporated in 2021 with a majority stake held by Public Sector Banks (PSBs) and the balance by private banks. Canara Bank was the sponsor bank.

It is registered with the Reserve Bank of India as an asset reconstruction company under the Securitisation and Reconstruction of Financial Assets and Enforcement of Security Interest Act, 2002.

Earlier this month, the finance ministry held a review meeting with heads of PSBs and asked them to monitor all cases, especially the top 20 Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code cases as part of the management of their bad assets.

During a meeting with managing directors and CEOs of PSBs, Financial Services Secretary Vivek Joshi asked them to review the top 20 cases monthly for their resolution.

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