New Delhi: The government on Tuesday said as many as 44 corporate borrowers had taken loans in excess of Rs 5,000 crore each from public sector banks as of March 2015.
While the total outstanding corporate loan of the state-owned banks stood at Rs 23.52 lakh crore, these 44 borrowers (owing Rs 5,000 crore and above) accounted for over Rs 4.87 lakh crore, Minister of State for Finance Jayant Sinha said in a written reply to the Rajya Sabha.
State Bank of India, Bank of Baroda, Bank of India, Canara Bank and Union Bank of India are the five public sector banks which had advanced such loans.
Elaborating, Mr Sinha said the country's largest lender, SBI, had 39 corporate borrowers with an outstanding of Rs 5,000 crore and above each. Their outstanding totalled over Rs 4.42 lakh crore.
Canara Bank had two such borrowers while Bank of Baroda, Bank of India and Union Bank of India had one each.
In another reply, Mr Sinha said gross NPAs of the public sector banks came in at Rs 2.67 lakh crore at the end of March 2015 as against Rs 2.40 lakh crore a year ago.
"The primary reasons for increase in stressed assets in recent times are various macro economical and global factors, economic slowdown, delays in statutory and other approvals, especially for projects under implementation, aggressive lending practices during upturn... and delays in resolution of NPAs through legal proceedings," he said.
To a question if prospective buyers are staying away from the auction of seized properties by banks, the minister replied in the affirmative.
"Yes. The prospective buyers are not coming forward despite price cut in many cases," Mr Sinha said.
The restructured advances of all banks were over Rs 4.31 lakh crore as of March-end 2015.
The minister also listed out major steps taken by the government and RBI for containment of NPAs in banks.
These include a decision to establish six new Debt Recovery Tribunals and creation of the Central Repository of Information on Large Credits (CRILC) by RBI to collect, store and disseminate credit data to banks on credit exposure of Rs 5 crore and more.