New Delhi: The gross non-performing assets (NPAs) of 19 nationalised banks witnessed a huge increase by Rs 1,54,470 crore during 2017-18 over the previous fiscal of 2016-17, a spurt of 33.4 per cent.
The Nirav Modi fraud-hit Punjab National Bank (PNB) led the pack with the largest amount of NPAs worth Rs 86,620 crore during 2017-18.
According to figures available with this newspaper, NPAs of 19 public sector banks as on March 31, 2018 were Rs 6,16,584 crore. During 2016-17, the bad loans of these banks had stood at Rs 4,62,114 crore. Therefore the NPAs saw a burgeoning rise of Rs 1,54,470 crore or 33.4 per cent.
PNB, which is the country’s second largest lender, witnessed a massive jump of 56 per cent in its bad loans during FY18, as they had stood at Rs 55,370 crore in FY17.
Bank of India, Bank of Baroda and Union Bank of India stood at second, third and fourth positions in the list with NPAs worth Rs 62,328 crore, Rs 56,480 crore and Rs 49,370 crore respectively during 207-18.
Last week, PNB had posted a net loss of Rs 940 crore during the Q1FY19. Though it was lower than the humungous loss of Rs 13,417 crore loss which it had incurred in the Q4 of FY18 owing mainly due to the Nirav Modi fraud case, the fact that NPAs have been hurting the financials of public sector banks for the past two fiscals now, has forced the Centre to go back to the drawing board to counter the ever-growing problem.
The RBI however has forecasted that there is going to be a further rise in financial stress of the nationalised banks due to their gross NPAs, which would continue during the current financial year also.
In June this year, the RBI had said in a forecast that 11 nationalised banks could face a worsening scenario in relation to their gross NPAs, which from 21 per cent in March 2018 could go up to 22.3 per cent in March 2019.
Some of these 11 banks namely IDBI Bank, Central Bank of India, Bank of India, Indian Overseas Bank, Dena Bank, Oriental Bank of Commerce, United Bank of India and Allahabad Bank among others, had earlier this year appeared before the parliamentary standing committee of finance. These 11 banks are also a part of the 19 public sector banks, whose bad loans have witnessed a jump during FY17 and FY18.
The Centre on its part has been trying to combat the problem by undertaking various measures like enactment of Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code. Also under the reforms agenda, PSBs have created stressed asset management verticals for recovery, official sources said.