Money & Banking
Top 50 defaulters owe state-run banks Rs.1.2 lakh crore
New Delhi : The top 50 defaulters of public sector banks (PSBs) had exposure in excess of Rs 1.21 lakh crore as on December 2015, parliament was told on Tuesday.
 
"The total exposure of top 50 defaulters of PSBs as on December 2015 was Rs.1,21,832 crore," Minister of State for Finance Jayant Sinha said in a written reply to the Rajya Sabha.
 
He said the number of wilful defaulters of PSBs rose in three years from 5,554 to 7,686 by December 2015, while the amount involved more than doubled to Rs.66,190 crore, from Rs.27,749 crore.
 
In another reply, Sinha said there were 1,365 borrower accounts having outstanding loans of Rs.500 crore and above at the end of December 2015.
 
Last week, parliament's consultative committee attached to the finance ministry suggested that a list of all defaulters, whose loans have been written off, be made public, and asked for exemplary action against wilful defaulters.
 
These were among the suggestions made at a meeting of the parliamentary committee here with Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and senior officials of the ministry to discuss the non-performing assets, or bad loans, of public sector banks, a finance ministry statement said.
 
Meanwhile, a consortium of 13 banks led by the State Bank of India told the Supreme Court last week that from the non-disclosure of assets by beleaguered liquor baron Vijay Mallya, it was not possible to assess his capacity to pay their outstanding dues to the tune of more than Rs.9,000 crore advanced to his now-grounded Kingfisher Airlines.
 
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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SC seeks MCI response on pleas for exemption from NEET
New Delhi : The Supreme Court on Tuesday asked the Medical Council of India to respond to a batch of applications by various state governments and associations of private medical colleges seeking to hold their own separate examinations for admission to undergraduate medical courses.
 
The court sought the response as Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat and others sought a relook at the order making NEET mandatory for admission to undergraduate medical courses as they contended that their admission processes were governed by their respective state level laws and rules.
 
As the Christian Medical College in Tamil Nadu's Vellore sought that they be permitted to continue with their own entrance examination, conducted since 1993, as their focus was taking Christian students, the bench of Justice Anil R.Dave, Justice Shiva Kirti Singh and Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel asked why were they reluctant of taking "Christian" students who have succeeded in National Eligibility and Entrance Test (NEET).
 
These are all classifications - SC/ST, minorities etc, the court said pointing out that it was always open for the CMC to have Christian students after the conduct of NEET, as senior counsel L. Nageshwar Rao, appearing for CMC, pointed to the preference for students from the Christian community. 
 
Asking why the college should be forced to take students from NEET, Nageshwar Rao said it intended to "only accrete Christian (students)" who will serve Christian charitable institutions.
 
However, the apparently unimpressed court said that NEET would save students from appearing in innumerable examinations and parents from spending money for buying forms for different exams.
 
But stressing the point that their right to have their own entrance exams for admitting students was a part of their right to run minority institutions, Nageshwar Rao said: "Right to admit students was a part of the right to run the minority institutions."
 
Appearing for CMC Ludhiana, counsel R.D. Narain Rao said that the Punjab government had appointed a committee for the entrance test and the institution was exempted.
 
Senior counsel K.K. Venugopal appearing for an association of private medical colleges said that Karnataka had its own statutory regime for the conduct of entrance examinations, and thus NEET should not be thrust on them.
 
Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta appearing for Gujarat said that examds in Gujarat were being conducted in Gujarati language also.
 
The hearing by the three judge special bench came on a spate of applications by different states and association seeking exemption from NEET and permission to conduct their own entrance examinations.
 
Various states, including the associations of private medical colleges are aggrieved by the top court's April 29 order reiterating that admission to undergraduate medical courses will be only through the NEET to be conducted by the Central Board of School Education (CBSE).
 
The first phase of NEET was conducted on Sunday. The second phase will be held on July 24.
 
Hearing will continue on May 5.
 
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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Railway minister launches web-based project monitoring system
New Delhi : Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu on Tuesday launched the Project Management and Information System (PMIS) which would enable the railways to monitor online the progress of ongoing projects across the country.
 
"PMIS is a web-enabled IT application which would cover the entire life cycle of complex projects. It is a step in leveraging resources which would empower railways in transforming the way projects are designed, built and commissioned," a railway official said.
 
PMIS would use drone recordings and CCTV footage to monitor the projects.
 
Prabhu said PMIS would be helpful in implementing upcoming major railway projects on time and save money.
 
"The plan is to roll out PMIS to all the major projects across the country. It will help in online monitoring, mid course corrections to ensure faster execution of the projects. The railways will save crores of money if projects are implemented on or before time," Prabhu said.
 
He said the system would improve with time and that the information would be available to the public as well.
 
He said a system would be developed to grade employees on the basis of their performance.
 
"A system would be developed to reward those who perform well and punish the non-performers. PMIS will help in identifying the performance," he said.
 
Minister of State for Railways Manoj Sinha called PMIS a "game-changer".
 
"If we manage to reduce the project completion time it will be a game-changer for the railwaya. It will also give economic benefits to the railways," Sinha said.
 
PMIS is currently being implemented in the Udhampur-Srinagar-Baramullah rail link as it has complex geological formation which requires extensive and continuous monitoring.
 
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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