Gross NPA quadrupled in last four years: Minister

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New Delhi : The total gross non-performing assets (NPAs) of public sector banks quadrupled to Rs 8.45 lakh crore in the last four years, Union Minister of State for Finance Shiv Pratap Shukla told Lok Sabha on Friday.

The aggregate gross NPAs of PSBs rose from Rs 2,16,739 crore on March 31, 2014 to Rs 8,45,475 crore on March 31, 2018, according to provisional data by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on domestic operations, Shukla said in his written reply.

The minister, however, said the surge in total gross NPA was due to more transparent recognition of stressed assets as NPAs.

The Asset Quality Review (AQR) carried out in 2015 for clean and fully provisioned bank balance-sheets had revealed high incidence of NPAs. Expected losses on stressed loans, not provided for earlier under flexibility given to restructured loans, were reclassified as NPAs and provided for expected losses, he said.

As per global operations data of RBI, the gross advances of Scheduled Commercial Banks (SCBs) had risen from Rs 25 lakh crore as on March 31, 2008 to Rs 69 lakh crore as on March 31, 2014.

Shukla said the main reasons for the spurt in stressed assets was due to aggressive lending practices, wilful default, loan frauds, corruption in some cases and economic slowdown.

Further, the minister said the gross NPAs of six PSBs who have declared unaudited financial results for the first quarter of the current financial year has declined by Rs 4,464 crore as against their gross NPAs as on March 31, 2018.