The government has decided to let banks take over some stressed assets in crucial infra sectors and hand them over to established public sector undertakings for an interim period. A management team of established PSUs in certain sectors will operate some of the plants and facilities of the stressed assets.
After an over two-hour-long meeting at North Block on Monday, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley told reporters banks would invoke their contract, convert debt to equity and appoint a management team. “The concerned secretaries have been asked to coordinate with the banks. The measure will be taken immediately,” Jaitley said.
One of the problems is that when stressed assets are put out (for auction), there are no takers. “Now takers will be created,” Jaitley noted.
The meeting was attended by officers of the Department of Financial Services, Department of Economic Affairs, and the Prime Minister’s Office as well as chairpersons of important banks.
Representatives of three departments — power, steel, and shipping — also attended the meeting as well as Chairman and Managing Directors (CMDs) of three important PSUs: NTPC, SAIL and Cochin Shipyard.
Ashwani Kumar, Chairman and Managing Director, Dena Bank, said the meeting saw discussions around power, steel, and shipyards.
The extent of non-performing loans in power sector is estimated at about Rs 4 lakh crore and about Rs3.5 lakh crore in steel.
Kumar said several possible solutions were discussed. “There cannot be one straitjacket answer to a stressed asset situation. Every asset has to be dealt differently,” he told a newspaper.
The bankers present for the meeting included SBI Chairperson Arundhati Bhattacharya, ICICI Bank’s Managing Director & Chief Executive Officer Chanda Kochhar and Indian Banks Association (IBA) Chairman Rajeev Rishi. Rishi is currently Chairman and Managing Director of Central Bank of India.-