Coimbatore: With default amounts close to Rs 2,000 crore in Tamil Nadu, State Bank of India is working out on a slew of measures, including debt restructuring, to address the problem, a top bank official said on Friday.

While the bank has brought loans to the tune of Rs 100 crore to Rs 125 crore under the Corporate Debt Restructuring (CDR) programme, it is also offering sops including interest rate reduction in the short-term for small and medium enterprises (SMEs), Sharad Sharma, Deputy Managing Director, SBI said.

"We are offering one-time settlement for SMEs. In some cases, we have also reduced interest rates," Sharma said.

The agriculture sector accounted for 40 to 45 percent of the NPAs and the retail and SME sector 25 to 30 percent in Tamil Nadu, which when compared to rest of the country was at a lower side, he said.

He said there is stress and the problems were found more in certain sectors such as textiles and aviation.

A consortium of banks have already worked out a package in case of Air India and taking final shape with regard to Kingfisher, he said.

"There has been a sizeable increase in the volume of proposals going through the CDR," Sharma, here to inaugurate a branch and the bank's community services initiatives, said.

Though there has been a substantial growth in bad loans in the second and third quarter of the last financial year, SBI has seen an improvement in last two quarters, he said.

Stating that credit growth has been quite slack, Sharma said that bank would be able to grow at 13-14 percent as against the projected 15-16 percent earlier.

To a question on increase in NRI deposits, he said it has been growing at a robust pace and clocked a 24-25 percent increase from October last, compared to the 16 to 17 percent increase in domestic deposits, he said.

On the merger of associate banks, he said the proposal with regard to five remaining banks was with the government and it may take another six months.

(Agencies)

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