India Ratings: Added focus on agri-loans may spike NPAs further
Terming the Budget as a mixed bag for the state-run banks and good for private lenders, India Ratings senior director Ananda Bhoumik said, "Though the Budget will benefit government banks through Rs 14,000 crore equity infusion and gradual easing in stress on infrastructure loans by a way higher tax-free bond issuance, the continued focus on growth in agri credit may keep bad loan levels elevated."
NPAs from the farm front have been amongst the highest this fiscal for the public sector banks.
On a y-o-y basis, gross NPAs have grown by 42.6 per cent from Rs 1.28 trillion as of December 2011 to Rs 1.83 trillion as of December 2012. NAPs in percentage terms rose from 2.88 at the end of December 2011 to 3.53 as of December 2012, as per a recent report by Care Ratings.
Budget contemplates a steep 21.7 per cent rise or Rs 7 trillion in farm credit next fiscal over the current fiscal.
However, Bhoumik says the private lenders got a big leg-up from the Budget and have benefited more as it creates a level-playing field by extending them the interest subvention scheme for farmers. This will improve their competitiveness in rural areas, he noted.
According to him, overall additional Rs
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