New Delhi, Feb 22 (IANS) Blaming the Narendra Modi government for the state of economy, the Congress said, here on Saturday, without improvement in the banking sector the country’s economic condition couldn’t be ameliorated.
Addressing the media at the party headquarters, Congress spokesperson Supriya Shrinate asked the government to name the corporates whose loans had been waived in the past six years and demanded a high-level panel be set up to examine the process of loan waiver.
“The government should make public the names of those whose debt has been waived, a high-level committee should be constituted to examine the process of loan waiver and it should also assess financial viability and potential of the banking sector,” Shrinate said.
The demand has come a day after global banking group Credit Suisse said the banking sector’s impaired assets remained at Rs 16.88 lakh crore — 15.7 per cent of the advances — as of December 2019, despite a decline in gross non-performing assets (NPAs) to Rs 9.1 lakh crore — 9.2 per cent of the advances.
Shrinate said the Congress had been raising economic issues with the hope that someday it would shake the government out of slumber and “denial” and make it understand the truth of economic recession.
“According to the recent reports, the banking problem is affecting India badly. Until the banks improve, India’s economic plight is almost impossible to solve,” said the Congress leader.
“As on date, about 16 per cent of loans has become stressed assets, which is Rs 16.88 lakh crore. These are the figures for December 2019. It was 12 per cent in 2017,” she said referring to the report.
In the December quarter, new NPAs started to form and at an increased pace in sectors like telecom, real estate, MSMEs and automobile, she said.
She said the government was saying NPAs had declined from 11.7 per cent to 9.2 per cent. “It should have been good news, the economy should have improved. But has it,” the Congress leader said.
“The truth is different. Banks are actually waiving loans of big capitalists,” she said, adding since the BJP came to power in 2014, around Rs 8 lakh crore debt had been waived. The government should have recovered it from them, she said.
“Despite the loan waiver of about Rs 8 lakh crore, it was not mentioned whose loans have been waived? Why this privacy,” Shrinate said.
“Lending by banks is an indicator of a good economy. But when the demand declines, it means there is an economic slowdown. The demand today is down at 12 per cent in private banks and 4 per cent in government banks,” she said.
Shrinate said, “Whenever the BJP government is questioned on the banking sector’s condition, it blames the previous government. But repeated lying doesn’t change the truth. What it has done for banking reforms in the past six years.”