The amount of Mudra scheme loans given by public sector banks that turned into non-performing assets increased two times in 2017-’18, the Ministry of Finance has said. Data given by the ministry showed that such loans increased from Rs 3,790.35 crore in 2016-’17 to Rs 7,277.31 crore in 2017-’18, The Indian Express reported on Tuesday. The amount was Rs 596.72 crore in 2015-’16.

The Prime Minister Mudra Loan Yojana, the government’s flagship job creation programme, helps small businesses get credit of Rs 50,000 to Rs 10 lakh from private and public sector banks, micro-finance institutions and other lending institutions.

The figures were presented by Minister of State for Finance Shiv Pratap Shukla in reply to a question in the Lok Sabha on December 21. As on March 31, 2018, 3.43% of the amount disbursed under the scheme had turned into non-performing assets, Shukla said.

Public sector banks disbursed a total of Rs 92,492.69 crore in Mudra loans in 2017-’18, which was a 22% rise from the Rs 71,953.66 crore lent in 2016’-17. A total of Rs 2.53 lakh crore worth of Mudra loans were disbursed in 2017-’18 as compared to Rs 1.80 lakh crore in 2016-’17 and Rs 1.37 lakh crore in 2015-’16.

Shukla said the Mudra loans extended by public sector banks were standard loans in terms of repayment as on March 31, 2018, except for the non-performing assets. “Public sector banks follow recovery procedures as approved by banks’ boards and in compliance of extant Reserve Bank of India guidelines,” he said, replying to a question on the steps taken by the government for an early recovery of loans. “Non-performing accounts are periodically monitored for recovery of overdue amount.”