Govt yet to decide on banks to be privatised, say MoS Finance Bhagwat Karad

The government has not yet decided on public sectors banks that are to be privatised, Minister of State for Finance Bhagwat Karad informed Parliament on Monday. The government had in Budget 2021-22 announced its intent to privatize two public sector banks (PSBs) during the year.

“As per inputs received from Department of Investment and Public Asset Management (DIPAM), the government has not yet decided on the banks that are to be privatised. The amendments to the relevant Acts are required to be done before initiating the process of privatisation, “Karad said in a written reply to the Lok Sabha.

The government has received representations from bank unions wherein they have expressed their views and concerns on the matter of privatization of banks, the Minister of State for Finance said.

Further, he said, “DIPAM has informed that the representations with regard to strategic divestment of CPSEs and banks received from various stakeholders including the employee’s unions from time to time are duly examined as per the extant disinvestment policy of the government.”

Replying to another question, he said, as many as 73,552 cases of frauds involving Rs 2.51 crore were received by banks during 2019-20.

He said, this number declined to 69,818 cases involving Rs 2.07 crore in 2020-21, as per the RBI data on frauds reported by Scheduled Commercial Banks in the category of fraud ‘Card/Internet – Debit Cards, Credit Cards and Internet Banking’.

“As far as cases relating to cheating in the name of Covid vaccinations/booster dose is concerned, 5 complaints have been received by PSBs during the years 2019-20 and 2020-21, as per information received from PSBs,” he said.

Under Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana, institutional collateral-free credit of up to Rs 10 lakh is provided by Member Lending Institutions (MLIs) for entrepreneurial activities to micro/small businesses, including individuals, which help in creating income generating activities in sectors such as manufacturing , trading, services and also for activities allied to agriculture, he said in a reply to another question.

As per data uploaded by MLIs on Mudra portal, as on December 31, 2021 over 32.53 crore loans involving a sanctioned amount of Rs 17.32 lakh crore have been extended under the scheme, since its inception in April 2015, he said.

Out of this, he said, more than 21.98 crore loans amounting to Rs 7.55 lakh crore have been extended to women borrowers.

This constitutes approximately 68 per cent of the total number of loans and 44 per cent of amount extended under the scheme, he added.

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