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PNB claims expected recovery of Rs 1,800 cr from “Mission Gandhigiri”

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Punjab National Bank
Punjab National Bank (PNB). (File Photo: IANS)

New Delhi, April 20 (IANS) State-run lender Punjab National Bank is expected to recover around Rs 1,800 crore from its non-performing assets (NPAs) recovery mechanism — “Mission Gandhigiri” — which will soon complete one year of operation.

A senior bank official told IANS the mission, was launched in May 2017, had consistently delivered positive results with an average recovery of Rs 150 crore from the initiative.

“The mission was born out of the need to name and shame defaulters to increase societal pressure and urge them to pay back. Mission Gandhigiri has a dedicated recovery team across all circles of the bank,” the official, who did not want to be named, told IANS.

Accordingly, the passive recovery mechanism entails the team members to “visit the borrowers’ office or residence and sit their silently with placards that have hard-hitting messages such as ‘It is public money, please repay the loans’.”

On the legal side of the operation, following the government’s directions regarding wilful defaulters, the bank has declared 1,084 wilful defaulters.

“Due to PNB’s aggressive stance towards wilful defaulters, 150 passports have been impounded over the past few months,” the official said. Additionally, over the last 9 months, the bank has also lodged 37 FIRs against defaulters.

The bank is also leveraging data analytics for loan recovery and risk management.

“We have tied up with a leading credit agency and with the help of a third-party expert analytics, we will now be able to get access to contact information of PNB defaulters who have good credit record with other lenders,” the official said.

“This partnership is a part of the larger strategy to deploy technology to strengthen internal systems. This partnership will not only help the bank with loan recovery but will also help identify and automate profitable lending strategies and minimise credit and fraud risk,” the official said.

The bank has also recently started works towards “improving internal systems by incorporating analytics and Artificial Intelligence for reconciliation of accounts”.

In addition, two special OTS (One-Time Settlement) schemes have helped the bank to accelerate NPA recovery.

“From an average of recovering loan amount from 70,000-80,000 NPA accounts in a year, this move has resulted in recovery in 225,000 NPA accounts over a span of 10 months,” the official added.

“These schemes apply to small NPA accounts helping defaulters come out of debt.”

IANS

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Army, Navy rescue marooned people in Karnataka’s flood-hit district

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Srirangapatna flood

Bengaluru, Aug 17 (IANS) Indian Army troops and Navy divers joined the national and state disaster relief forces to rescue hundreds of people marooned in Karnataka’s flood-hit Kodagu district, said an official statement on Friday.

“About 60 Dogra Regiment soldiers and 12 expert naval divers rescued 873 marooned people in the flood-hit district, where overnight heavy rains caused landslides and inundated low-lying areas at Makkanduru,” said the statement from the Chief Minister’s office here.

Kodagu, about 250 km from Bengaluru, is one of the districts in the southern state worst hit by the south-west monsoon rains since June first week.

The Army’s engineering task force deployed 73 boats, equipment and rafts in rescuing the people and escorting them to safer places in the district.

About 60 members of the national and state disaster relief forces and 45 members of the civil defence joined the rescue and relief operations with boats and equipment in Madikeri in the hilly district.

“Though the Indian Air Force (IAF) aborted rescue mission due to inclement weather, it will fly M17 chopper from Mysuru on Saturday to rescue the remaining stranded and transport relief supplies,” noted the statement.

About 200 personnel of the state fire service had rescued people in flood-hit towns and villages across the district with their boats and equipment.

“Telecom services, disrupted due to rains and strong winds uprooting poles and snapping phone lines, are being restored on priority. HAM operators have been deployed as back-up. Power lines are also being restored,” said the statement.

The district administration has housed 573 persons in 17 relief camps.

Intra and inter-state bus and train services between Karnataka and flood-hit Kerala were suspended due to landslides and rain water submerging the highways and roads in the ghat section.

State-run and private bus services from Mysuru and Chamarajanagar to Ooty and Coonoor hill stations in Tamil Nadu were suspended due to flooding and fallen trees blocking the routes in the ghat section.

According to the weather office, rain fury continued in the state’s coastal districts of Dakshina Kannada, Udupi and Uttara Kannada, disrupting normal life, including vehicular movement of goods and people.

Incessant rains lashed the Malnad region, flooding several areas in Shivamogga, Hassan and Chikkamagaluru districts.

Schools and colleges will remain shut even on Saturday in the affected districts due to flooding and disruption of bus services.

The state’s metrological department has warned of moderate to heavy rain in coastal, south interior and north interior areas of the state till Sunday.

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Oil prices rises after sharp declines

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Crude Oil

New York, Aug 18 (IANS) Oil prices continued to rise slightly on Friday after slumping over 2 per cent earlier this week.

The West Texas Intermediate (WTI) for September delivery rose $0.45 to settle at $65.91 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, while Brent crude for October delivery rose $0.40 to close at $71.83 a barrel on the London ICE Futures Exchange, Xinhua reported.

The market was under pressure earlier in the week as official data showed the US crude inventories rose nexpectedly recently.

The Energy Information Administration said in its weekly report on Wednesday that US commercial crude inventories rose by 6.8 million barrels in the week through August 10, way higher than market estimates of a decrease of 2.5 million barrels.

WTI and Brent oil prices rebounded slightly on Thursday and Friday after touching the lowest levels in months on Wednesday.

On the data front, the number of US oil drilling rigs were unchanged this week at 869 rigs, according to a weekly report from energy company Baker Hughes on Friday.

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Nifty sets new closing high on firm global cues; Sensex ends near 38,000

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sensex up

Mumbai, Aug 17: Broadly positive global cues lifted the key Indian equity indices on Friday with the NSE Nifty50 ending at a record closing high of 11,470.75 points.

According to market observers, healthy buying activity was witnessed in banking, metal and healthcare stocks.

At 3.30 p.m., the Nifty50 on the National Stock Exchange provisionally closed at 11,470.75 points, up 85.70 points or 0.75 per cent from its previous close.

The benchmark S&P BSE Sensex, which had opened at 37,898.60 points, closed at 37,947.88 points up 284.32 points or 0.75 per cent from previous close of 37,663.56 points.

It breached the 38,000 mark during the day and touched an intra-day high of 38,022.32 points, and hit an intra-day low of 37,840.16 points.

The major gainers on the Sensex were Yes Bank, State Bank of India, Vedanta, Hindustan Unilever and Tata Motors, while Hero MotoCorp, ONGC, Maruti Suzuki, Coal India and Power Grid were the major losers.

IANS

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