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Government addressing banks' bad loans issue: Modi
Noting the massive stressed assets, or bad loans, of state-run banks, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday said the government would be infusing Rs.70,000 crore in the public sector banks (PSBs) in the next few years.
 
"Bad loans in the past few years are a problem but we can't only cry about it. We are trying to solve this problem," he said at the launch of IDFC Bank here.
 
"That is why, the government would be infusing Rs.70,000 crore in the public sector banks in the next few years to help them deal with the bad loans crisis," he said.
 
Modi said the government has initiated a series of banking reforms including re-capitalisation of PSU banks, change in rules for hiring top management and paper-less transactions to curb the black money menace.
 
"We have decided to bring improvements in the appointments at the top levels of the banks. This
improves efficiency," he said.
 
The prime minister noted that the banking sector is undergoing major transformation with the help of technology.
 
"The banking sector is seeing changes. Mobile banking is coming up. Banking will be premises-less and paper-less," he said.
 
"We have to take the country in that direction. As we use technology, we move to paper-less banking, currency-less business operations. The possibility of black money will gradually become negligible," he added.
 
Amid continued concerns about levels of non-performing assets (NPAs), or bad debts, of public sector banks, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had said last month in Mumbai that the government may consider reducing its stake in them to 52 percent.
 
Taking the first step towards a holding company structure for state-run banks, the government, in August, announced the setting up of a Banks Board Bureau (BBB) that will recommend appointment of directors in PSBs and advise on ways of raising funds and dealing with stressed assets.
 
Jaitley has allocated Rs.7,940 crore in the budget for recapitalisation of public sector banks in this fiscal.
 
The union cabinet had in December allowed state-run banks to raise up to Rs.160,000 crore from the capital markets by diluting the government stake in phases to 52 percent.
 
As per estimates, public sector banks would need additional capital of up to Rs.240,000 crore by 2018 to meet the Basel III capital adequacy norms, put in place to guard against a repeat of the situation following the 2008 US financial crisis.
 
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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Rail Neer racket: CBI recovers Rs.4 lakh fake currency
The CBI told a court here on Monday that searches conducted as part of its probe in a case of supplying inferior-quality packaged drinking water in premium trains had led to recovery of approximately Rs.28 crore out of which around Rs.4 lakh was counterfeit.
 
After hearing the arguments, Special CBI Judge Vinod Kumar allowed probe agency to quiz, for five days, to interrogate arrested railways officers Sandeep Silas and M.S. Chalia and businessman Sharan Bihari Agarwal.
 
The Central Bureau of Investigation arrested the three on Saturday and on Sunday, all the three were sent to a day's police custody.
 
They were presented before the court on Monday after expiry of their one-day police custody.
 
The CBI while seeking custody of the three accused told court that it has recovered Rs. 28 crore from the possesion of Agarwal, owner of R.K. Associates Pvt. Ltd, which was managing supply of packaged drinking water, out of which Rs.405, 500 was fake currency.
 
It added that accused has not given reasonable explanation for the possession of huge cash and therefore to establish the chain of cash flow, custodial interrogration is required.
 
Silas and Chalia are required to be interrograted with respect to their investment in various companies and properties which is either in their names or in the names of their family members.
 
The agency also submitted that they are investigating the role of railway officials in favouring Agarwal, and also held the accused are influential people and can tamper with evidence and documents related to the case.
 
The CBI said that accused were not cooperating in the probe and they were required to be interrogated regarding some bank lockers in and outside Delhi and also in Agra.
 
Defence counsel of the accused opposed the plea and said their clients were cooperating with the agency.
 
One of the defence counsel said that the packaged drinking water of the other companies were supplied due to insufficient quantity of Rail-Neer brand. 
 
According to a CBI release, Sandeep Silas is a 1984-batch Indian Railway Traffic Service (IRTS) officer.
 
Chalia, the second officer, also came under the scanner of the CBI for the alleged involvement of his son's company in the scam.
 
The CBI suspected that the private catering companies could have paid illegal remittances to the officer through the company run by his son for favours shown to them for supplying inferior quality of packaged drinking water on premium trains.
 
On Friday, CBI registered a case against Chalia, Silas and seven private companies -- RK Associates Pvt Ltd, Satyam Caterers Pvt Ltd, Ambuj Hotel and Real Estate, PK Associates Pvt Ltd, Sunsine Pvt Ltd, Brandavan Food Product and Food World -- under the provisions of Prevention of Corruption Act.
 
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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