Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Tuesday said that on the basis of last quarter figures, Non-performing Assets (NPA) are on the decline and recoveries have started picking up. Speaking on NPAs in a press conference after the annual review meeting of Public Sector Banks (PSBs) performance and reforms, Finance Minister Jaitley said that the last several years have been challenging for the PSB as a large amount of their lending was held up in the NPAs. The Finance Minister informed that in order to monitor access, usage and quality if deposits, the government has announced the launch of a Financial Inclusion Index.

FM Jaitley said that as the economy is passing through a good phase, the consumption has again picked up and banks are confident of liquidity for various sectors. FM Jaitley also said that the amendment of Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC) to debar wilful defaulters has had the unintended positive consequence of defaulting borrowers stepping forward to make payment in order to participate in the resolution process.

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He also mentioned that the government has exhorted the banks to ensure all steps at their end to ensure clean lending and effective action in cases of fraud and wilful default should take place. This will justify the trust reposed in the banks. Arun Jaitley said that banks must strive to be seen always as institutions of clean and prudent lending.

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Earlier in the day, Arun Jaitley had a meeting with the chiefs of public sector banks to discuss the issue of Non-Performing Assets (NPAs). Officials from Debt Recovery Tribunal, Bank Board Bureau, Ministry of Micro Small and Medium Enterprises, Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology, Ministry of Rural Development and Ministry of Housing and Urban Development were the part of the crucial meeting. 

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