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ED seized Rs 64,920 cr in 1,105 bank fraud cases; assets worth Rs 15,183 cr restituted to banks during NDA regime: Nirmala Sitharaman
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ED seized Rs 64,920 cr in 1,105 bank fraud cases; assets worth Rs 15,183 cr restituted to banks during NDA regime: Nirmala Sitharaman

| @indiablooms | 31 May 2024, 04:36 pm

New Delhi: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has seized Rs 64,920 crore related to nearly 1,105 bank fraud cases to date, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman reiterated on May 31 in a series of posts on the social media platform X.

“As of December 2023, assets amounting to Rs 15,183 crore have been restituted to the public sector banks (PSBs). There has been no leniency in recovering bad loans and the process is ongoing,” the finance minister said.

The banking sector, regarded as the backbone of a nation’s economy, recently achieved a significant milestone by recording its highest-ever net profit, exceeding Rs 3 lakh crore in 2023-24, up from Rs 2.2 lakh crore in FY23.

During FY 2023-24, public sector banks posted an unprecedented aggregate net profit of Rs 1.41 lakh crore, a four-fold increase from Rs 36,270 crore in FY 2014.

These lenders declared a dividend of Rs 27,830 crore to their shareholders in FY24.

Net NPAs of state-run banks dropped to 0.76 percent in March 2024 from 3.92 percent in March 2015, and from a peak of 7.97 percent in March 2018, she noted.

Banks previously under the RBI's Prompt Corrective Action (PCA) framework have shown significant improvement, resulting in the removal of all PCA restrictions.

Due to reforms, public sector lenders' ability to raise capital (equity and bonds) has enhanced.

Between FY 2014-15 and FY 2023-24, PSBs have raised Rs 4.34 lakh crore from the market, she added.

Credit availability and easy access are critical to nurturing entrepreneurship, self-employment and financial independence, she said.

Bank Credit growth (non-food) stood at 16 percent in FY24, its highest in the last decade.

“Agricultural credit has increased 2.5-fold to Rs 21.55 lakh crore in FY 2022-23 from Rs 8.45 lakh crore in FY 2014-15. The Kisan Credit Card (KCC) scheme has provided timely and hassle-free credit to farmers, with over 7.36 crore operative KCC accounts,” the finance minister said.

Under the PM MUDRA Yojana, loans to the tune of Rs 28 lakh crore have been disbursed to more than 48 crore individuals, with 68 percent of the loans allocated to women.

Despite initial concerns voiced by critics upon its launch, NPAs under MUDRA remain below 3 percent, underscoring the success of the scheme, the post stated.

Likewise, PM SVANidhi was introduced to integrate urban street vendors into the formal economy. Loans exceeding Rs 11,400 crore have been distributed to 78 lakh street vendors, reducing their dependency on high-interest loans.

The Stand-Up India Scheme has empowered SC/ST individuals and women to become self-sufficient, with loans amounting to Rs 27,806 crore disbursed to over 2.28 lakh beneficiaries, Sitharaman mentioned.

There are over 52 crore PM Jan Dhan accounts, holding deposits totalling more than Rs 2.31 lakh crore.

Of these, more than 55 percent are owned by women, and over 66 percent are located in rural areas.

Throughout the Covid period, 20.64 crore women received direct financial assistance into their Jan Dhan accounts, she added.

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