Banks likely to transfer about 80 large NPA accounts to NARCL

New Delhi, May 20 (Bureau) Banks are likely to transfer about 80 large NPA accounts for the resolution to National Asset Reconstruction Company Ltd (NARCL), which is expected to be operational by next month. NARCL is the name coined for the bad bank announced in the Budget 2021-22. A bad bank refers to a financial institution that takes over the bad assets of lenders and undertakes resolution. The size of each of these NPAs accounts is over Rs 500 crore and the banks have identified about 70-80 such accounts to be transferred to the proposed bad bank, sources said.

It is expected that NPAs over Rs 2 lakh crore will move out of the books of the banks to the bad bank, they added. The company will pick up those assets that are 100 per cent provided for by the lenders. Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in the Budget 2021-22 announced that the high level of provisioning by public sector banks of their stressed assets calls for measures to clean up the bank books. ‘An Asset Reconstruction Company Limited and Asset Management Company would be set up to consolidate and take over the existing stressed debt,’ she had said in the Budget speech.

It will then manage and dispose of the assets to alternate investment funds and other potential investors for eventual value realisation, she added. Last year, the Indian Banks’ Association (IBA) had made a proposal for the creation of a bad bank for swift resolution of non-performing assets (NPAs). The government accepted the proposal and decided to go for asset reconstruction company (ARC) and asset management company (AMC) model for this. NARCL will pay up to 15 per cent of the agreed value for the loans in cash and the remaining 85 per cent would be government-guaranteed security receipts. The government guarantee would be invoked if there is a loss against the threshold value. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has said that loans classified as fraud cannot be sold to NARCL.

As per the annual report of the RBI, about 1.9 lakh crore of loans have been classified as fraud as of March 2020. To facilitate the smooth functioning of asset reconstruction companies, the RBI last month decided to set up a panel to undertake a comprehensive review of the working of such institutions. After enactment of the Securitisation and Reconstruction of Financial Assets and Enforcement of Security Interest (SARFAESI) Act in 2002, regulatory guidelines for ARCs were issued in 2003 to enable the development of this sector and to facilitate the smooth functioning of these companies. Since then, while ARCs have grown in number and size, their potential for resolving stressed assets is yet to be realised fully.