On December 28, 2019 the union Finance Minister(FM) Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman launched an online auction platform named “eBkray” in New Delhi inorder to increase transparency in auctioning of assets attached by banks. e-Bkray platform is linked with the Indian Banks Auctions Mortgaged Properties Information (IBAPI) portal (https://ibapi.in/). More in detail about the platform are as follows:
eBkray auction platform:
i.Features: The eBkray platform has property search features and also has navigational links to all PSB (Public Sector Bank) e-auction sites. It provides single-window access to information on properties up for e-auction. It will also allow comparison of similar properties in e-auction, with photographs and videos of properties uploaded in the site.
- User can also search property using State-wise, District-wise and bank-wise details.
ii.Properties uploaded: As on December 27, 2019 over 35,000 properties were uploaded by PSBs. These PSBs have attached assets worth Rs 2.3 lakh crore in the last three fiscal years.
iii.IBAPI portal: The Indian Banks Auctions Mortgaged Properties Information (IBAPI) portal is an initiative of Indian Banks Association (IBA) under the Department of Financial Services (DFS) of the Ministry of Finance (MoF). It will provide details of mortgaged properties for e-auction. This will be started from PSBs.
iv.Portal usage: Buyers can use this portal regarding property details and also can participate in the auction process. Currently 21 banks are onboard on this portal.
v.NPA declination: Various reforms by the govt. helped banks to reduce the bad loans. Through these reforms, the Non-Performing Assets(NPA) in PSBs have declined to Rs. 7.27 lakh crore in September 2019 from Rs. 8.96 lakh crore in March 2018. The provision coverage ratio has also rose to highest level in 7 years.
- With the reforms, as many as 13 banks reported profits in the 1st 6 months of the current financial year (2019-20).
- Banks have recovered Rs. 38, 896 crores with the Essar steel resolution decision, which is in addition to the ₹4.53 lakh crore recovered in the last 4.5 years.
No MDR charges applicable on payment via RuPay, UPI from Jan 1 2020:
In order to promote digital payments the FM announced that no MDR (merchant discount rate) charges will be applicable on transactions/ payments done via RuPay and UPI (Unified Payments Interface) platforms beginning January 1, 2020.
- Accordingly, all companies with a turnover of Rs 50 crore or more will be mandated by Department of Revenue (DoR) to provide the facility of payment through RuPay Debit card and UPI QR code to their customers.
- all banks will also start a campaign to popularise RuPay Debit card and UPI in order to strengthen the digital payments.
- MDR: It is the cost paid by a merchant to a bank for accepting payment from their customers via digital means. The MDR is expressed in percentage of the transaction amount.
FM held review meeting:
The finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman held review meeting of the banking sector with Chairman and Managing Directors of Public Sector Banks (PSBs) in New Delhi during the time of launch of the e-Bkray platform.
i.Members present: Rajeev Kumar, Finance Secretary; Atanu Chakraborty, Secretary of the Department of Economic Affairs(DEA) and Ajay Bhushan Pandey, Revenue Secretary, were also present in the meeting.
About Finance ministry:
Founded- 29 October 1946.
Headquarters- New Delhi.
Minister of State(MoS)- Shri Anurag Singh Thakur.