Sitharaman says public sector banks get ₹15,183 crore following ED action under PMLA | Mint
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Business News/ Industry / Banking/  Sitharaman says public sector banks get 15,183 crore following ED action under PMLA
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Sitharaman says public sector banks get ₹15,183 crore following ED action under PMLA

Specific actions through various legal provisions are being taken against defaulters and as a result, huge monies are going back to the banks, the finance minister says

Union finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman. (ANI Photo)Premium
Union finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman. (ANI Photo)

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Tuesday said the Enforcement Directorate (ED) has confiscated assets worth 15,186.64 crore under the stringent Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) and almost all of these have been restituted to public sector banks.

Specific actions through various legal provisions are being taken against defaulters and as a result, “huge monies" are going back to the banks, Sitharaman said in the Rajya Sabha.

As of March 31, 2023, legal suits were filed for recovery against 13,978 loan accounts, action under the SARFAESI Act has been initiated in 11,483 cases, FIRs have been filed in 5,674 cases, and an aggregate amount of 33,801 crore has been recovered, added Sitharaman.

“As of December 1, 2023, assets amounting to 15,186.64 crore under the PMLA have been confiscated by the ED out of which 15,183.77 crore have been restituted to the Public Sector Banks," she said.

Rajya Sabha chairman Jagdeep Dhankhar asked the finance minister to explain the meaning of ‘phone banking’ which was mentioned in reply to a supplementary question.

“‘Phone Banking’ was at that time when people would call the banks and say ‘so and so will come to seek a loan from your bank, please grant it’, meaning that there's no need to look at their eligibility, etc & that the loan must be granted," the minister said.

The heart of the problem was during the 10 years of UPA rule between 2004 and 2014 when calls were made to grant loans to people who were not worthy of getting a loan, she noted.

“The burden fell on us to sort the Indian banks out with reforms. Prime Minister Narendra Modi sat with all of us, including my predecessor Arun Jaitley (former finance minister). We spent a lot of time understanding where the problem was and worked together with the RBI," Sitharaman said.

Sitharaman said that thenet NPA ratio has come down to 0.95% in 2022-23 for all commercial banks from 5.94% in 2017-18.

(With inputs from agencies)

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Published: 05 Dec 2023, 06:01 PM IST
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