New Delhi: Saddled with mounting bad loans, as many as 16 public sector banks, including Punjab National Bank, Bank of Baroda and Canara Bank, skipped paying dividend in 2015-16, leading to three-fold decline in government receipts to Rs1,444.6 crore.
Only six state-owned banks including State Bank of India (SBI) declared dividend, though at a lower rate, for the fiscal ended March 2016.
Under the existing guidelines, profit making banks have to pay a minimum dividend of 20% of their equity or 20% of their post tax profit, whichever is higher.
The government, which is the majority shareholder in all the public sector banks, witnessed 67% decline in dividend receipt from public sector banks at Rs1,444.6 crore as against Rs4,336.22 crore in the previous fiscal.
According to finance ministry data, the highest dividend was paid by SBI to government at Rs1,214.6 crore during 2015-16, 22% lower than the previous fiscal. As regards Union Bank of India, the dividend payout was one-third of the previous fiscal at Rs85 crore. For Oriental Bank of Commerce, it was one-fifth compared to the previous financial year at Rs 2.4 crore despite increase in government holding due to capital infusion.
Those which skipped dividend payments included Allahabad Bank, Bank of Baroda, Bank of India, Canara Bank, Central Bank of India, Corporation Bank, Punjab National Bank, Dena Bank and Syndicate Bank.
Balance sheet of most of the banks were under stress due to clean-up exercise. Due to heavy provisioning for bad loans, many banks posted losses during the last quarter of the previous fiscal.
Gross non-performing assets (NPAs) of the public sector banks had surged from 5.43% (Rs2.67 lakh crore) in 2014-15 to 9.32% (Rs4.76 lakh crore) in 2015-16 of the total advances. Banks have been given time till March 2017 to clean up their balance sheet. PTI