RBI may not get more teeth to fix NPA mess

RBI may not get more teeth to fix NPA mess

Apex bank has wide-ranging powers to deal with various situations: Govt.

New Delhi : The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has “wide-ranging and comprehensive” powers to address various situations in banks, the government said on Tuesday against the backdrop of RBI Governor Urjit Patel seeking more powers to deal with the problem of bad loans at public sector banks.

Listing out RBI’s powers to deal with banks, Minister of State for Finance Shiv Pratap Shukla said the central bank can inspect the lenders, examine on oath any officer, direct special audit and give directions to banks.

Also, whole-time directors of nationalised banks and State Bank of India are appointed in consultation with the RBI, he said in a written reply in the Rajya Sabha.

“… the powers of RBI are wide-ranging and comprehensive to deal with various situations that may emerge in all banks, including public sector banks,” he said.

RBI Governor Urjit Patel in his presentation before the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Finance had last month (rpt) month pitched for more powers saying that the central bank has “inadequate” control over state-owned lenders.

Replying to another question on whether less money was being put in ATMs after the demonetisation, Shukla replied in the negative.

RBI has informed that the total amount of Notes in Circulation (NIC) as on July 18, 2018 was Rs 19.28 lakh crore as compared to Rs 17.74 lakh crore as on November 4, 2016, he said.

“RBI has ensured adequate supply of notes to meet the cash requirement of public and the currency supply is monitored continuously to ensure distribution of adequate currency to various parts of the country,” he said. The government, he added, has requested all banks to efficiently manage the cash to ensure that adequate cash is available for ATMs and people do not face any problems.

No proposal before panel on PSB merger

New Delhi: There is currently no proposal before the ministerial panel for merger of public sector banks, Minister of State for Finance Shiv Pratap Shukla said in a written response to a question in the Rajya Sabha on Tuesday.

“No timeline has been fixed for merger of public sector banks,” Shukla added. The government, in November, had formed a three-member panel, led by Arun Jaitley, to examine and clear merger proposals of public sector banks. Besides taking up plans sent by banks, the panel was empowered to direct state-owned lenders to examine proposals for mergers. The other members of the panel on banks’ consolidation are Piyush Goyal and Nirmala Sitharaman.

He said the government had sought comments from states and sponsor banks on its roadmap for consolidation of regional rural banks within a state.

“The roadmap has been prepared in consultation with NABARD (National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development) and proposes to bring down the number of RRBs (regional rural banks) to 38 from the present 56,” Shukla said.


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