The Economic Survey 2019-20 proposes the creation of a GSTN-like body which will verify individuals and corporate customers via KYC and Aadhaar KYC, run data analytics on their financial data, generate their credit profile using artificial intelligence — all to eventually assess their eligibility for loans from public sector banks. The NPA crisis and PSBs: Released yesterday (January 31), the Economic Survey dedicates an entire chapter to the status of public sector banks and the NPA crisis. The Survey suggests that a large proportion of India’s NPA crisis — non-performing assets peaked at Rs 10.3 trillion in March 2018, of which public sector banks accounted for Rs 8.9 trillion — could have been prevented had data and analytics been used in corporate lending. A “robust credit analytics system” would have picked up factors that contributed to the NPA crisis — such as poor audit disclosures by large defaulters. Data as 'gold mine for economic growth': The Survey further cites “the digital infrastructure that generates and stores an abundance of high-quality structured data on all aspects of the economic lives of firms and individuals” as a factor in the growth of digital payments in the last 3-4 years. Perhaps more important is that the inclusion is backed by state-of-art digital infrastructure that generates and stores an abundance of high quality structured data on the all aspects of the economic lives of firms and individuals. Such data are, of course, the gold mine for economic growth in the 21st century. They offer essentially unlimited and uncharted…
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