Below the Line

George Verghese 4772 | Updated on: Jun 19, 2022

**EDS: HANDOUT PHOTO MADE AVAILABLE FROM PIB ON SATURDAY, JUNE 18, 2022** Vadodara: Prime Minister Narendra Modi with Gujarat Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel and Gujarat BJP President C.R. Patil during the inauguration of the various development projects, at the ‘Gujarat Gaurav Abhiyan’ programme, in Vadodara. (PTI Photo)(PTI06_18_2022_000277B) | Photo Credit: -

A mini-roadshow for PM

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s popularity tops the charts among all public figures in India. But in Vadodara — his past parliamentary constituency — the efforts to allow the people to get a glimpse of their leader were taken to another level. On his recent visit to the city, when the Prime Minister’s security denied a roadshow from the airport to the public meeting venue citing security concerns, the organisers — the civic body and the local party leadership — arranged a mini roadshow within the venue.

On his arrival at Leprosy Ground on the outskirts of Vadodara, Modi, accompanied by Gujarat Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel and State BJP Chief CR Paatil, boarded an open jeep for a ‘mini’ 1-km roadshow across the domes filled with supporters brought from five nearby districts.

NCLT blues

It now transpires that only eight of the 23 members who are scheduled to retire from various NCLT benches next month have been granted a two-year extension (three-year tenures to become five years). So why didn’t the remaining 15 not make the cut?

According to the the Ministry of Corporate Affairs, the remaining 15 failed to meet the criteria of good character, antecedents, work performance and suitability.

Now, company law experts think this is unfortunate when there are so many vacancies in NCLT and there is need for continuity.

Over 20,000 cases were pending for disposal before the NCLT as of end-December 2021.

The buzz now in the corridors of power is that the Centre appointed selection committee will have personal interactions with candidates to be appointed for the 15 vacant posts. Clearly, the Centre is moving on after denying extension to 15 members.

Taking stock of NPAs

Non-performing assets (NPAs) have always been a thorny issue in the banking system. From recognition to recoveries of bad loans, there are controversies galore. But this does not mean the government is going to take a hands-off approach to NPAs.

Public sector banks’ chief executives got a “surprise” this past week when the Department of Financial Services (DFS) conveyed to them that Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman’s upcoming review meeting on June 20 (Monday) will discuss as part of its agenda “review of NPAs of more than ₹ 100 crore”.

Some bank chiefs are in a tizzy as the support staff get only a few days to cull out information on NPA accounts above ₹100 crore to be “review ready” for the meeting. Can this be asked of a private sector bank, queried a banking industry observer.

It was pointed out that at the most public sector bank chiefs can be ready with account-specific names and outstanding amount details. But they may not be in a position to have account-wise recovery strategy or solutions at the chief executive level. Imagine a large bank like SBI, PNB or Bank of Baroda with lakhs of crores worth of business — they will each have over 100 accounts with NPAs of ₹100 crore.

Last one heard was that the FM review meeting will also be discussing bank specific three-year strategic roadmaps, which have to be created as part of EASE 5.0 reforms launched recently. A double-whammy or par for the course for those at the helm of PSBs?

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Published on June 19, 2022
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