The government has taken various reforms following which asset quality of public sector banks has improved significantly with gross NPA ratio declining from the peak of 14.6 per cent in March 2018 to 5.53 per cent in December 2022, Parliament was informed on Monday.
All PSBs are in profit with aggregate profit being ₹66,543 crore in 2021-22, and that further increased to ₹70,167 crore in first nine months of current financial year, Minister of State for Finance Bhagwat K Karad said in a written reply to Lok Sabha.
At the same time, resilience has increased with provision coverage ratio of PSBs rising from 46 per cent to 89.9 per cent in December 2022, he said, adding capital adequacy ratio of PSBs improved significantly from 11.5 per cent in March 2015 to 14.5 per cent in December 2022.
Total market cap of PSBs (excluding IDBI Bank, which was categorised as private sector bank in January 2019) increased from ₹4.52 lakh crore in March 2018 to ₹10.63 lakh crore in December 2022, he said.
Karad also said banks, earlier placed under Prompt Corrective Action (PCA) framework by RBI, have made significant improvement.
Talking about various measures taken to improve the financial health of PSBs, Karad said, the government implemented a comprehensive 4R strategy of Recognising NPAs transparently, Resolution and recovery, Recapitalising PSBs, and Reforms in the financial ecosystem.
Banking reforms push
Major banking reforms undertaken by the government over the last eight years addressed credit discipline, responsible lending and improved governance, besides adoption of technology, amalgamation of banks, and maintaining general confidence of bankers, he said.
In reply to another question, Karad said, as per the information provided by Ministry of Road Transport & Highways (MoRTH), the total estimated vehicle fleet is 30.48 crore (excluding data from Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh and Lakshadweep), of which 16.54 crore vehicles are uninsured.
Replying to another question, Karad said the government since 2016 has given ‘in-principle’ approval for strategic disinvestment of 36 cases of public sector enterprises (PSEs) and/or subsidiaries/ units/ joint ventures of PSEs/ banks.
Of the 36 cases, 33 are being handled by Department of Investment and Public Asset Management (DIPAM) and 3 cases are being handled by the respective Administrative Ministry/Department, he said.
"Out of the 33 cases being handled by DIPAM, strategic disinvestment transactions have been completed in 10 cases; 5 PSEs are under consideration for closure; 1 case is held up due to litigation, 1 case is under Corporate Insolvency Resolution Process (CIRP) in NCLT and 2 transactions are under review for feasibility," he said, adding, remaining 14 transactions are at various stages.
In other PSEs, where the government continues to retain control, disinvestment through minority stake sale is carried out through various SEBI-approved methods such as initial public offer (IPO), offer for sale (OFS), buyback of shares etc. from time to time based on prevailing market conditions and investor interest, he said.
The modernisation and capacity expansion of PSEs are taken up by the respective boards of PSEs under the administrative control of different ministries, he added.