Rajya Sabha Current Affairs - 2019

Category Wise PDF Compilations available at This Link

NPA of commercial banks increased by around 4%: Government

The Union Government has announced that the Non-Performing Assets (NPA) of commercial banks have increased by around 4% in the last one year (March 2015 to March 2016).

It was announced by Union Minister of State for Finance (MoS) Santosh Gangwar in a written reply to the Rajya Sabha.

Key facts

  • The NPA of banks was 5.43 percent in March 2015 which has risen to 9.32 percent in March 2016.
  • The high incidences of NPAs are mainly related to power, road, steel, textiles and other sectors.
  • NPA amounts are related to 417 stalled infrastructure projects where public sector banks have invested is over 66478 crore rupees.
  • Union Government has taken several steps to revive these stalled projects. Besides, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has also issued guidelines for restructuring of loans.

What are Non-Performing Assets (NPA’s)?

  • NPAs (also called non-performing loans) are loans made by a bank or finance company on which repayments or interest payments are not being made on time.
  • The loan is considered to be a NPA once the borrower fails to make interest or principal payments for 90 days.
  • In case of Agriculture/Farm Loans, the NPA varies for of Short duration crop loan (interest not paid for 2 crop seasons), Long Duration Crops (interest not paid for 1 Crop season).
  • Thus, NPA is any asset of a bank which is not producing any income. It affects the profitability & liquidity of the banks.
  • It adversely affects the value of bank in terms of market credit and widens assets and liability mismatch.
  • It results in inflating the cost of capital for economic activities and banks may charge higher interest rates on some products to compensate NPAs.

Rajya Sabha passes Mental Health Care Bill

The Rajya Sabha has passed the Mental Health Care Bill to provide better healthcare for people suffering from mental illness and also to decriminalise suicide.

The progressive legislation and is patient centric Bill was introduced in Rajya Sabha by the Union Health and Family Welfare Minister J P Nadda.

Key Features

  • The Bill provides, every person has right to access mental health care and treatment from services run or funded by the government.
  • Under it, these also have right to equality of treatment, protection from inhuman and degrading treatment, access to their medical records free legal services etc.
  • It also has a provision to protect, promote and fulfill the rights of such persons during delivery of mental health care and services.
  • The Bill focuses on community based treatment and special provisions for women and health have also been provided.
  • In case of person who attempts to commit suicide shall be presumedto be suffering from mental illness at the time of attempting suicide unless proved otherwise.
  • Such person shall not be liable to punishment under section 309 (attempt to commit suicide) of Indian Penal Code (IPC).
  • It also provides for establishment of Central and State Mental Health Authority. It also establishes Mental Health Review Commission and Board (MHRCB) as a quasi-judicial body.

Background

The Bill was proposed as per the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities to which India is signatory. It requires the countries to align their laws with the Convention. In India, around 6 to 7 per cent of the population suffers from some kind of mental illnesses, while 1 to 2 per cent suffers from acute mental disease.