Public sector banks (PSBs) will soon create a dedicated mechanism for managing stressed accounts, Finance Minister Piyush Goyal said on Friday following a meeting with PSB chiefs on the issue of banks' non-performing assets (NPAs), or bad loans.The accumulated NPAs in the Indian banking system have crossed the staggering level of Rs 9 lakh crore. The proposed mechanism would seek a faster resolution of such cases."A panel under Punjab National Bank (PNB) non-executive chairman Sunil Mehta will give its report in two weeks over setting up of Asset Restructuring Company (ARC) or Asset Management Company (AMC) to resolve stressed assets," Goyal told reporters here after the meeting."I have discussed improving credit flow to strengthen Indian economy while mitigating risk flow associated with that," he said."The committee will deliberate whether it is worth considering setting up of an AMC to deal with assets having exposure to several banks. It will also consider if setting up of an ARC or AMC is good for the banking system."
Noting that the State Bank of India has a "proven mechanism" to take faster decisions in a transparent manner, Goyal, who holds temporary charge of the finance portfolio in the absence of a convalescing Arun Jaitley, said all bank showed willingness to set up such a mechanism for faster resolution of stressed accounts."Some of the banks may also consider setting up oversight committees and bring in external expertise to help faster decision making," he said.Goyal said discussions during the meeting focused on credit flow and banks devising mechanisms to ensure credit flow to good borrowers should not be hampered owing to restrictions on credit activity due to NPAs."Risks need to be mitigated to support the economy," he said.The Minister said the meeting had discussed situation arising out of banks working in "silos" and PSBs "decided to come together in a cohesive manner to resolve the credit needs of MSMEs (micro, small, medium enterprises), exporters, small and medium borrowers so that the needs of the economy can be addressed."He also said that all vacant positions of PSB heads will be filled in the next 30 days.