DELHI: Finance Minister P. Chidambaram Wednesday said the Non-Performing Assets (NPAs) or bad loans of the public sector banks are expected to be higher this fiscal, which is a matter of big concern.
Addressing a media conference after reviewing the performance of public sector banks here, Chidambaram said: "The biggest challenge facing the public sector banks is NPAs and their asset qualities."
The finance minister said he has asked the lenders to focus on the recovery of bad loans.
Chidambaram said the banks have recovered bad loans worth Rs.18,933 crore in April-December period of the current fiscal.
The combined NPAs of the public sector banks rose to Rs.2.36 lakh crore at the end of the second quarter of the current fiscal from Rs.1.83 lakh crore at the end of fiscal 2012-13.
He said NPAs have risen among large corporate houses as well as small industries. However, it has come down in real estate sector.
He said the banks are monitoring their top 30 bad loan accounts.