33. Last year I had announced important decisions flowing from the
Narasimham Committee Report on Banking Sector Reforms. Subsequently, the Reserve Bank of
India has taken further follow up action. I propose to carry forward the reform process:
The high level of NPAs in our public sector banks continues to remain
a cause of concern. The Debt Recovery Tribunals, which were set up for expeditious
adjudication and recovery of debts due to banks and financial institutions, have started
showing encouraging results. Government has decided to set up 5 more DRTs and 4 more Debt
Recovery Appellate Tribunals. I also propose to introduce a Bill in the current session of
Parliament to make certain amendments in the Recovery of Debts due to Banks and Financial
Institutions Act to strengthen its provisions.
A Working Group has recently been set up by us to devise appropriate
strategies for dealing with the problem of restructuring weak banks including their NPAs.
The inability of banks to enter into timely compromise settlements of
chronic cases of overdue loans leads to locking up of banks funds and long drawn
litigation in recovery suits. Public sector banks will be encouraged to set up Settlement
Advisory Committees so that such chronic cases, specially those relating to the small
sector, are settled in a timely and speedy manner. RBI will be issuing necessary
guidelines to the banks in this regard.
Our banks are required to observe RBI norms for maintaining
provisions against doubtful and non-performing assets. These norms have been strengthened
in recent years. To assist banks to come up to international standards of prudential norms
I shall be announcing certain changes in the tax deductibility of provisions made.