Shaken PSB Bosses Take NPA Probe Worries to FM Jaitley
Heads of top 10 banks seek assurance from ministry there won’t be witch-hunt
New Delhi: Heads of top ten staterun banks met finance minister Arun Jaitley on Monday to raise concerns over aggressive investigation into non-performing loans which they said has impacted business.
A senior bank official said the meeting was sought by bankers through the Indian Banks’ Association (IBA) owing to widespread fear among bankers after arrest of former bank officials in the case of Kingfisher loans.
“There is almost a banking paralysis in public sector banks. We were looking to seek assurance from the finance ministry that there will be no witch-hunt,” said the official, who sought anonymity.
A finance ministry official, however, said the meeting was held to take stock of the banking sector and steps taken to reduce non-performing loans.
“A host of issues came up for discussion, including capital needs of banks and implications of GST,” said a ministry official. He said Jaitley also discussed the problems faced by banks in faster resolution of stressed assets.
Stressed loans of banks are esti- mated to have crossed 20% of the gross advances.
Bankers that attended the meeting included Arundhati Bhattacharya, chairman of State Bank of India, Usha Ananthasubramanian, MD of Punjab National Bank, and IDBI CEO Kishor Kharat.
“We are also gearing up for another new model launch this year. Apart from this, we will continue to support the ‘Make in India’ initiative.”
Ford India’s output expanded 41% to 2.42 lakh units in 2016, led by demand for the EcoSport in overseas markets, apart from the new Figo and Aspire models introduced in the domestic market. “Ford has been making in India for India and the world and is proud to demonstrate its strong commitment — from creating jobs to developing talent — in India,” said Anurag Mehrotra, executive director for marketing, sales and servi- ce. “We have continued to stay committed to building and strengthening India as a centre of manufacturing excellence with products exported to more than 50 markets across the globe.”
Companies in India, led by Maruti Suzuki India Ltd and Hyundai Motor India Ltd, made more than 34 lakh passenger vehicles in 2015-16, according to the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers. They exported 653,889 cars that year, or about 19% of the output.
Healthy growth for RenaultNissan and Ford is critical because most international car makers in India have accumulated losses. Ford’s local rival General Motors India started significant ex- ports in 2016, which helped the maker of Chevrolet cars register an 88% growth in production in the country.
Another milestone was crossed in 2016. Nine of the top 10 carmakers in India produced over 1.4 lakh units each, indicating that they are achieving a certain scale in manufacturing, boosted by exports.
Still, Renault-Nissan’s plant in Oragadam, Chennai, which started functioning in May 2010, accounts for only 3% of the alliance’s global production of almost 10 million units. The plant has the capacity to build 480,000 cars per year.
Ford has manufacturing facilities in Chennai and Sanand, Gujarat, with a capacity of 440,000 vehicles.