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In a separate reply on non-performing assets of public sector banks, minister of state in the finance ministry Bhagwat Karad said that the NPAs of public sector banks (PSBs) have come down from Rs 8, 95,601 crore from March 2018 to 5,40,958 crore as on March 2022, primarily due to multiple factors, including NPA write-offs.

Karad said that the gross NPAs of public sector banks (PSBs), which have reached the highest level 8,95,601 crore in 2018 — primarily as a result of the asset quality review undertaken by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) — has since declined to 5,40,958 crore as on March 31, 2022. He attributed the decline in NPAs to the government’s strategy of recognition, resolution, recapitalization and reforms.

“Reduction in NPAs could be due to improvement in NPA accounts, recoveries in NPA accounts and lower slippages. In the last five financial years, PSBs have made an aggregate recovery of 4,80,111 crore from NPA accounts and enhancement of NPAs of 1,45,356 crore,” the minister said.

In addition, slippages in NPAs decreased from 3,38,710 crore for FY17 till 1,44,315 crore for FY22, all of which resulted in the reduction in NPAs, he said. “The reduction in NPAs can also be due to write offs which is primarily an exercise done for balance sheet cleaning, utilization of tax benefit and capital optimization by PSBs , he added.

As for the details of the top 50 written off loans, the RBI says it does not maintain account wise information about the written off loan accounts. State Bank of India tops the list in PSBs that have written off bad loans worth 7,782 crore in FY22, followed by Punjab National Bank (PNB) at 3,441 crore and Union Bank of India at 2,750 crore.

In the list of voluntary defaulters on March 31, 2022, fugitive diamantaire Mehul Choksi’s Gitanjali Gems Ltd tops the list in 7,848 crore, followed by Era Infra Engineering Ltd at 5,879 crore and Concast Steel and Power Ltd at 4,596 crore. ABG Shipyard Ltd must 3,708 crore to PSBs, while Frost International Ltd has to give 3,311 crore. On the currency in circulation, the FM said that there has been an increase of 9.86% in the value of notes in circulation so far to ₹ 31,05,721 crore in 2022.


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