Ministry of Finance
Finance Minister launches eBक्रय for online auction of assets attached by banks
Steps announced for boosting digital transactions
Bankers assured of protection for prudent commercial decisions taken
Bank outreach to MSMEs and transmission of rate cuts continues
Posted On: 28 DEC 2019
Union Finance Minister Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman here today discussed banking issues with chiefs of Public Sector Banks (PSBs), chief executive of Indian Banks’ Association and representatives of leading private sector banks. Finance Secretary, Revenue Secretary, Economic Affairs Secretary, Electronics and Information Technology Secretary, CBI Director, RBI representative and the chief executive officer of NPCI were also present.
1. Steps for enhancing digital transactions
In order to strengthen the digital payment eco-system and move towards less-cash economy, Hon’ble FM in her budget speech of 2019-20 had, inter alia, announced that business establishments with annual turnover of more than Rs. 50 crore shall offer low cost digital modes of payment ( such as BHIM UPI, UPI QR Code, Aadhaar Pay, Debit Cards, NEFT, RTGS etc.) to their customers, and no charge or Merchant discount rates (MDR) shall be imposed on customers as well as merchants. To facilitate implementation of this announcement, it was decided as under:
2. Banks restored to health for lending
Extensive reforms carried out by the Government have restored banks to health, with the gross NPAs of PSBs declining from Rs. 8.96 lakh crore in March 2018 to Rs. 7.27 lakh crore in September 2019, their provision coverage ratio rising to their highest level in seven years, and banks returning to profitability, with as many as 13 banks reporting profits in H1FY20.
With the Essar resolution decision, banks have recovered Rs. 38,896 crore, in addition to Rs. 4.53 lakh crore recovered in the last 4½ years.
PSBs have attached assets worth over Rs. 2.3 lakh crore over the last three financial years and to enable online auction by banks of attached assets transparently and cleanly for improved realisation of value, eBक्रय, a common e-auction platform was launched today by the Finance Minister. The platform is equipped with property search features and navigational links to all PSB e-auction sites, provides single-window access to information on properties up for e-auction as well as facility for comparison of similar properties, and also contains photographs and videos of uploaded properties. As on 27.12.2019, a total of 35,000 properties had been uploaded on the platform by PSBs.
To strengthen banks, in addition to the recent infusion of Rs. 60,314 crore, additional infusion of Rs. 8,855 crore (Rs 4360 crore to Indian Overseas Bank, Rs 2153 crore to Allahabad Bank, Rs 2142 crore to UCO Bank and Rs 200 crore to Andhra Bank) has been approved and would be released shortly.
Having improved asset quality and internal resource generation, PSBs are now fully poised to support prudential credit growth towards a $ 5 trillion economy by 2025.
3. Robust banks to lend without undue apprehensions
(a) CBI would develop a mechanism as recently introduced for income tax notices, so that CBI notices carry a registration number to avoid any scope for unauthorised communication and consequent harassment.
(b) While pursuing criminal action against those responsible, the agency shall be sensitive to the distinction between genuine commercial failures and culpability. It was also noted that there is need for preserving the value of the business enterprise by treating it on a separate footing from culpability of individuals, if any.
(c) PSBs may report instances of fraud through e-filing of FIRs on a designated email address of CBI so as to avoid scope of any arbitrage due to information asymmetry.
(d) CBI would create a dedicated phone number on which any person could give information regarding any undue harassment by the investigative machinery.
(a) strengthen the forensic auditor empanelment process;
(b) put in place robust arrangements for assessing adherence to standards by forensic auditors; and
(c) tie up with CBI for training forensic auditors.
4. Credit outreach by banks
5. Support to NBFCs and HFCs by PSBs