The Lok Sabha has passed the Banking Regulation (Amendment) Bill, 2017 by voice vote. It will replace the Banking Regulation (Amendment) Ordinance, 2017.
The bill seeks to amend the Banking Regulation Act, 1949 to insert provisions for handling cases related to stressed assets or non-performing assets (NPAs) of banks. Stressed assets (NPAs) are loans defaulted by borrower in repayment or the loan which has been restructured by changing the repayment schedule.
Key Features of the Bill
Initiating insolvency proceedings: It will enable the Central government to authorize the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to direct banking companies to resolve specific stressed assets by initiating insolvency resolution process. These proceedings will be under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016.
Issuing directions on stressed assets: It empowers RBI to issue directions to banks for resolution of stressed assets from time to time.
Committee to advise banks: It enables RBI to specify committees or authorities to advise banks on resolution of stressed assets. RBI will appoint or approve members on such committees.
Applicability to State Bank of India (SBI): It inserts provision to make above provisions applicable to the SBI and its subsidiaries and also Regional Rural Banks (RRBs).
Need for Amendment
Non-performing assets (NPAs) or bad loans of banks have risen to over Rs. 9 lakh crore resulting in choking the banking system. So it had become necessary for the RBI to intervene in order to take urgent measures for their speedy resolution.