Indradhanush-Banking Sector Reforms

By Rajiv Kumar, Geetima Das Krishna, and Sakshi Bhardwaj
25 January 2016

The Indradhanush framework with its seven pronged plan was unveiled by Finance Minister Mr Arun Jaitley on 14th August 2015 for revamping Public Sector Banks (PSBs) of India. In this paper, we look at the deteriorating profitability, asset quality, capital position of PSBs along with previous bank recapitalisation expenditure of the government. The seven reform initiatives in Indradhanush are compared with Nayak Committee recommendations. We summarise that Indradhanush does not propose any ground-breaking reforms for the PSBs. Re-capitalisation or infusion of capital into PSBs is its central theme. This opens up a debate on whether the capital infusion is adequate for all banks. Given various constraints for the government, we feel Indradhanush is definitely the step in the right direction. It does incorporate some of the initiatives mentioned in Nayak Committee report but does not fully embrace the essence of the bold Nayak recommendations. PSBs accounting for 70 percent of the banking system and saddled with high NPAs will be an impediment to growth unless the government acts fast to revamp this sector.