The banking industry has undergone a sea change after the first phase of economic liberalization in 1991 and hence credit management. While the primary function of banks is to lend funds as loans to various sectors such as agriculture, industry, personal loans, housing loans etc., in recent times the banks have become very cautious in extending loans. The reason being mounting non-performing assets (NPAs). An NPA is defined as a loan asset, which has ceased to generate any income for a bank whether in the form of interest or principal repayment. As per the prudential norms suggested by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), a bank cannot book interest on an NPA on accrual basis. In other words, such interests can be booked only when it has been actually received. Therefore, an NPA account not only reduces profitability of banks by provisioning in the profit and loss account, but their carrying cost is also increased which results in excess & avoidable management attention. Apart from this, a high level of NPA also puts strain on a banks net worth because banks are under pressure to maintain a desired level of Capital Adequacy and in the absence of comfortable profit level, banks eventually look towards their internal financial strength to fulfill the norms thereby slowly eroding the net worth.
When a borrower, who is under a liability to pay to secured creditors, makes any default in repayment of secured debt or any installment thereof, the account of borrower is classified as nonperforming assets (NPA) .NPAs cannot be used for any productive purposes because they reflect the application of scarce capital and credit funds. Continued growth in NPA threatens the repayment capacity of the banks and erodes the confidence reposed by them in the banks. In fact high level of NPAs has an adverse impact on the financial strength of the banks who in the present era of globalization, are required to conform to stringent International Standards. “Non Performing Asset” means an asset or account of a borrower, which has been classified by bank or financial institution as substandard, doubtful or loan asset. After nationalization and globalization the initial directive that banks were given was to expand N.R. INSTITUTE OF BUSINESS MANAGEMENT 1
their branch network, increase the saving rate and extent credits to rural, urban and the most important SSI sectors. No doubt this mandate has been achieved admirably under the regulation of economic reforms initiated in 1991 by the then Finance Minister and present Prime minister Dr. Manmohan Singh. No doubt it would have been incomplete without the overhaul of Indian Banking System. Then all of a sudden focus shifted towards improving quality of assets and better risk management. The Narasimhan committee reports (First report) recommendations are the basis for initiation of the process, which is still continuing. The committee has recommended the enactment of a new legislation for securitization and empowering banks and financial institution to take possession of the securities and do sell them without the intervention of the court. The Narasimham Committee Report is without doubt a major path- breaking piece of work and deserves the support of all who yearn for a more rational and effective banking system in this country. In order to have the proper understanding of NPA menace, it is important to have a brief idea of growth and structural changes that have taken place in the banking sector. The growth of the banking system can be assessed in five phases:- 1) Preliminary Phase(series of birth and death of banks) 2) Business Phase(period between 1949- 19 69) 3) Branching Out Phase(period when commercial banks got nationalized) 4) Consolidated phase(weaknesses and defects were identified) 5) Reforms and Strengthening Phase(1991 to till date) Indian Banking Industry Saddled with High NPAs: Reasons The liberalization policies launched...