Indian banks’ bad loans may rise significantly: Financial stability report

Lavern Vogel

Indian banks may see bad loans double despite signs of an improvement in the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, a report from the Financial Stability and Development Council said on Monday.

The gross Non-Performing Assets of banks may increase from 7.5% in September 2020 to 14.8% under a severe stress scenario. Even under a baseline scenario it may rise to 13.5% by September 2021, the council said.

“It is assessed that the worst is behind us, though the recovery path remains uncertain,” the council’s Financial Stability Report released by the Reserve Bank of India said.

The council is an umbrella group of regulators and releases the FSR report twice yearly to give a detailed overview on the health of the Indian financial system.

RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das said in his foreword to the report that maintaining the financial health

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Govt to buy 11 mn shots of AstraZeneca vaccine from Serum Institute: Report

Lavern Vogel

India’s government has signed a purchase order with vaccine producer Serum Institute of India for 11 million doses of the Oxford/AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine, the CNBC-TV 18 TV channel reported on Monday.

The government has also signed a purchase agreement with local player Bharat Biotech for its COVID-19 vaccine, the news channel reported, citing unnamed sources.

Serum and Bharat Biotech did not immediately respond to Reuters request for comment.

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India eyes asset sales to partly fund higher spending next year: Report

Lavern Vogel

India is likely to spend more next fiscal year than this year’s budgeted $415 billion and prioritise infrastructure projects, relying on asset sales of around $40 billion for some of the funding, two people with knowledge of the plan told Reuters.

After largely keeping its purse strings in check as the coronavirus pandemic choked businesses and threw millions out of jobs, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government is keen to bring the economy back onto a solid growth path with the budget to be presented on Feb. 1.

Actual spending in the current fiscal year ending March 31 could be lower than the original target of 30.4 trillion rupees, but will be higher than last year’s 26.86 trillion rupees, one of the sources said.

“Supporting growth (and) infrastructure spending is the priority now, not fiscal-deficit math,” said one of the sources.

“But it is not that

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