Money & Banking
High-level panel to tackle banks' bad loans: Official
Noting the massive stressed assets of state-run banks, Prime Minister Narendra Modi in October said the government would infuse Rs.70,000 crore in these banks in the next few years
 
The government plans to set up a high-powered committee to deal with the issue of non performing assets (NPAs) or bad loans of state-run banks, a senior finance ministry official said on Friday.
 
"It (committee) was discussed at a meeting the union finance minister (Arun Jaitley) had with heads of public sector banks. It's too early to get into specifics, but it will certainly have a more focused look on certain sectors," Department of Financial Services Secretary Anjuly Chib Duggal told reportes here. 
 
"NPAs is a matter of concern and the government is vigilant in this regard. The government is also looking into the problems faced by steel, aluminium and textile sectors," she said on the sidelines of an event organised by the Centre for Digital Financial Inclusion.
 
The gross NPAs of public sector banks increased to 6.03 percent at the end of June 2015, compared with 5.20 percent in March 2015.
 
Noting the massive stressed assets of state-run banks, Prime Minister Narendra Modi in October said the government would infuse Rs.70,000 crore in these banks in the next few years.
 
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has allocated Rs.7,940 crore in the Budget in this fiscal for the recapitalisation of public sector banks.
 
"NPAs are a result of many factors. There is not one silver bullet that is going to deal with them. It will require us to take a multi-dimensional approach," union Minister of State for Finance Jayant Sinha said on Friday at the same event.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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Ready to cooperate on GST, but want cap on tax: Congress
Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi on Friday said his party is ready to "cooperate" with the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Bill, but his party has some "differences" and wants a cap on the tax.
 
"We (Congress) are ready to cooperate with the BJP over GST. But we have our differences. We want a cap on tax, and do not want the poor in the country to be taxed," Gandhi told media outside the Parliament House. 
 
Gandhi added that his party was the one which introduced GST draft legislation earlier. 
 
Gandhi made the comments when he was asked about Prime Minister Narendra Modi's invitation to Congress leaders Sonia Gandhi, Rahul himself and Manmohan Singh to meet over tea on Friday evening, with the GST on the agenda.
 
Meanwhile, Minister of State for Finance Jayant Sinha said on Friday the central government is seeking a consensus on the issue of levy of one percent additional tax for the proposed goods and services tax (GST).
 
"There are many opinions on the one percent tax on GST...states have another perspective on this," Sinha told reporters on the sidelines of an event here by the Centre for Digital Financial Inclusion.
 
"We have to find a consensus on this. The finance minister has said we are in continuous consultations, particularly with opposition parties and are willing to consider any reasonable suggections," Sinha said, adding that the situation arrived at this point was the result of continuous discussions with states and other stakeholders.
 
The central government has set the target for GST implementation from April next year, but the bill is currently stuck in parliament, especially over the cabinet's nod to some changes recommended by a parliamentary panel, notably an extra one percent levy to compensate the states for potential tax losses.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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Nitish orders free power connection to all
In a bid to keep up another election promise, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has directed officials to provide free electricity connection to everyone in Bihar by November 2017.
 
Providing free electricity connection to all the households was one of the seven promises Nitish Kumar made ahead of the assembly elections which his Grand Alliance won.
 
The connections would be free, but users would be charged for the power consumed, officials said on Friday. 
 
The government is expected to incur an expenditure of Rs.1,500-1,800 crore on this project.
 
Free electricity connection was earlier promised only for Below Poverty Line families but now it will also cover 50-60 lakh families coming in the Above Poverty Line category.
 
A total of 2,719 of the 39,073 villages remain to be electrified in Bihar. 
 
In November 2005, average availability of power was six to eight hours in urban areas and two to three hours in rural areas.
 
But in 2015, the average availability of power in urban areas is 22-24 hours and 15-16 hours in rural areas.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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