New Delhi: State-owned Punjab National Bank (PNB)
recovered Rs 20,000 crore of bad loans during the financial year ended
March 2019, almost double the recovery amount in the preceding year, its
Chairman Sunil Mehta has said. The bank suffered losses allegedly after
jewellers Nirav Modi, Mehul Choksi and some bank employees collided to
defraud PNB of about Rs 1,000 crore. The scam was unearthed in February
In the bank’s annual report, Mehta said the financial year 2018-19
started off on a tepid note. “With the biggest financial incident in
terms of severity and enormity, the bank had a huge task before it to
overcome the crisis and turnaround,” he added.
In spite of challenges, he said the bank was able to narrow its net
loss to Rs 9,975 crore against the loss of Rs 12,283 crore during
2017-18, and high level of net non-performing assets (NPAs) saw a
sequential reduction from quarter-to-quarter. The net NPA reduced from
Rs 48,684 crore in March 2018 to Rs 30,038 crore.
“The recovery momentum has continued with gross recovery of more than
Rs 20,000 crore up to March 2019 as compared to recovery of Rs 9,666
crore during March 2018,” Mehta said.
The annual report further said that despite the challenging
circumstances, the bank has added over Rs 1 lakh crore to the domestic
business to reach Rs 11.45 lakh crore as at March 2019 with year-on-year
growth of 11.1 per cent, “reflecting the unstinted faith of our
customers”. The bank’s gross domestic advances grew 14.1 per cent y-o-y
to reach Rs 4.91 lakh crore.
It also took initiative in identifying wilful defaulters and notices were issued to various borrowers who were found to have committed an act of wilful default. As a result, as on March 31, 2019, 1,142 borrowers were declared as wilful defaulters, according to the annual report.