Rs 2.22 lakh crore NPAs: CBI chief suggests strong action

CBI Director Anil Sinha on Friday favoured "strong action with surgical precision" to check banking frauds which has led to accumulation of non-performing assets (NPA) worth Rs 2.22 lakh crore with the banks.

New Delhi: CBI Director Anil Sinha on Friday favoured "strong action with surgical precision" to check banking frauds which has led to accumulation of non-performing assets (NPA) worth Rs 2.22 lakh crore with the banks.

Addressing a conference of anti-corruption officials here, he said a strict regimen that instills financial discipline and deep-rooted sense of probity percolating down to the lowest rungs in the financial sector, especially banks and other financial institutions engaged in lending, is the need of the hour to detect the frauds.

"Probably, this may see a rise in the detection of frauds and bad debts, not to forget the NPAs, that have remained hitherto under the carpet, like the proverbial skeletons tumbling out of the cupboard," Sinha said.

Advocating strong action with surgical precision, he said, the imperatives require caution against both, the tendency to bury our heads in sands of time like ostriches and also the eagerness to cry wolf without seeing one.

"We need not be kind to the mercenaries, at the same time we must also be wary of unleashing terror in the market," Sinha said at the annual conference of Chief Vigilance Officers, who act as distant arm of the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC), of banks and financial institutions here.

The sixth conference today was held in the backdrop of a rather serious scenario vis-a-vis bank frauds. The period from 2009-2014 saw a sharp increase in bad loans and advances leading to an alarming rise in NPAs across the banking sector, he said.

As per the RBI handbook of statistics on Indian economy, the NPAs have grown from around Rs 45,000 crore in 2009, to more than Rs 2.22 lakh crore in 2014. Even in percentage terms, the NPAs have grown from 2 percent of gross advances in 2009 to more than 3.8 per cent of gross advances in 2014, the CBI chief said.

"If we add to the NPAs, the poorly performing restructured loan accounts and other sub-standard assets, the situation becomes even more grim," he said.

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