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Finance Ministry permits 12 PSU banks to raise Rs 3,000 crore from market

In a bid to strengthen capital base of public sector banks (PSBs), the government has allowed 12 lenders to raise nearly Rs 3,000 crore via preferential shares over and above the Rs 22,915 crore capital support committed to them in July last year.

The Finance Ministry granted approval to 12 proposals of PSBs to raise a sum of Rs 2,914.038 crore through preferential allotment and permission given to raise Rs 200 crore by United Bank of India through QIP mode.

The government had already infused a sum of Rs 25,000 crore in 19 PSBs during FY 2015-16. “A budgetary provision of Rs 25,000 crore has been made for 2016-17 and the government has already allocated Rs 22,915 crore to 13 PSBs on July 19, 2016 of which 75 per cent has been allocated in first tranche while remaining amount will be released on assessment of performance of PSBs, the Department of Finance in its year-end review for 2016 said today.

As regards consolidation in the banking space, it said, the Union Cabinet in June 2016 had approved the proposal of acquisition of assets and liabilities of subsidiary banks i.e. State Bank of Bikaner & Jaipur, State Bank of Hyderabad, State Bank of Mysore, State Bank of Patiala, State Bank of Travancore and Bhartiya Mahila Bank (BMB). With regard to financial inclusion, as many as 26.03 crore accounts have been opened under Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY), out of which 15.86 crore accounts are in rural areas and 10.17 crore in urban areas.

Deposits of Rs 71,557.90 crore have been mobilised and 19.93 crore RuPay Debit cards have been issued under PMJDY. Zero balance accounts has been reduced to 23.86 per cent. Aadhaar seeding has been done in 14.43 crore account underPMJDY, while 99.9 per cent households out of the 21.22 crore households surveyed have been covered under PMJDY. As on December 23, 2016, out of total requirement of 1,27,198 fixed location ‘bank mitras’ in sub service areas (SSAs), 1,26,985 ‘bank mitras’ have been deployed by banks.

Out of 1,712 claims lodged, 1,626 claims have been disposed of under accidental insurance cover of Rs 1 lakh under RuPay debit card. Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana (PMJJBY) cumulative Gross enrolment reported by banks, subject to verification of eligibility, etc. is over 3.08 crore, while Rs 9.88 crore under Pradhan Mantri Suraksha BimaYojana (PMSBY) as of December 28. A total of 38.23 lakh subscribers have been enrolled under the Atal Pension Yojana (APY) with a total pension wealth of Rs 1,344.70 crore. Out of the total subscribers, 19.74 lakh subscribers have been enrolled during 2016 (up to December 15, 2016).

To make APY more attractive, the Ministry modified some rules and gave an option to the spouse of a subscriber in case of pre-mature death to continue contributing to the account of the subscriber, for the remaining vesting period, till the original subscriber would have attained the age of 60. The earlier provision was to over lump sum amount to spouse on the premature death (death before 60 years of age) of the subscriber.

During the year, the government also started Stand-Up India Scheme with objective to provide bank loans between Rs 10 lakh to Rs 1 crore for greenfield enterprises set up by SC, ST and women entrepreneurs and extending effective handholding support to them.As on December 23, total number of loans sanctioned under Stand Up India Scheme is 15,341 (Women: 12,055, SC: 2,568 and ST: 718).

Under Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana (PMMY) loan disbursement of Rs 77,916.54 crore was done to 2.12 crore beneficiaries till December 9. Out of this, there were 1.68 crore women entrepreneurs who benefited.The Securitisation and Reconstruction of Financial Assets and Enforcement of Security Interest Act, 2002 (SARFAESI Act) and the Recovery of Debts Due to Banks and Financial Institutions Act (RDDB & FI Act) have been amended for speedier resolution of defaulted loans through ‘Enforcement of Security Interest and Recovery of Debts Laws and Miscellaneous Provisions (Amendment) Act, 2016’.

The government proposes to bring in a comprehensive central legislation to deal with the menace of illicit deposit taking schemes. The government had earlier constituted an Inter-Ministerial Group (IMG) for identifying gaps in the existing regulatory framework for deposit-taking activities and to suggest administrative/ legislative measures, including formulation of a new law, to cover all relevant aspects of ‘deposit-taking’.

The IMG had finalised its report and recommended a number of legislative and non-legislative/administrative measures. The IMG’s legislative recommendations included the enactment of a new central legislation called the Banning of Unregulated Deposit Schemes and Protection of Depositors’ Interests Bill (Banning Bill) in order to tackle the menace of illicit deposit taking schemes.

The revised draft legislation, titled the “Banning of Unregulated Deposit Schemes and Protection of Depositors’ Interests Bill, 2016” (Version 2.0), has been uploaded on the website of the Department of Financial Services on November 17, 2016 seeking comments from the public on the Draft Bill to reach on or before December 17, 2016. The Banning Bill seeks to bring out a clear demarcation between regulated and unregulated deposit schemes, comprehensively define deposit takers, and provide strong penal provisions for different offences.