The Union Finance Minister Shri Arun Jaitley said that the Public Sector Banks (PSBs) have made great contribution in rebuilding the economy of the country. However, the Finance Minister asked the bankers to get rid of their past scars of Non Performing Assets (NPAs) and clean-up their balance sheet at the earliest .The Finance Minister Shri Jaitley also assured them full support of his Government in this regard. He said that the Government will take necessary policy corrective measures wherever required. The Finance Minister Shri Jaitley was addressing the Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) of the Public Sector Banks (PSBs) here today while chairing the Quarterly Review Meeting of the PSBs.
The meeting was attended among others by the Minister of State for Finance, Shri Jayant Sinha, Deputy Governor, RBI Shri Kundra, Secretary (Financial Services) Ms Anjuli Chib Duggal, as well as Secretaries of various other Ministries of Government of India along with senior officers of the Ministry of Finance.
Earlier Shri Anup Pujari, Secretary, Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) discussed issues related to MSME sector including financing by banks. Secretary, Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) briefed the meeting about the commitment of Banks to fund Renewable Energy Projects in the next five years and praised the efforts made by banks. SBI was awarded for outstanding achievement. Ms Nandita Chatterjee, Secretary, Ministry of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation (HUPA )articulated various issues related to enhancing credit flow to the urban poor and implementation of the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana. Secretary, Ministry of Food Processing Industries briefed the participants about the utilization of Special Fund of Rs. 2000 crore set-up to provide affordable credit to designated food parks (including mega food parks) and food processing units located therein. Secretary, Ministry of Textiles discussed the issue of implementation of the programme for Revival, Reform & Restructuring (RRR) package for the handloom sector and institutional credit to sericulture. Secretary, Ministry of Rural Development Shri Mahapatra discussed the SHG Credit Linkage Plan under different schemes of the department.
In addition to the above agenda, and a detailed discussion on various subjects, the following key issues were discussed:
PSBs discussed various steps being taken to improve credit growth. The issue of passing on the benefit of rate cut was also discussed, with the PSBs noting that their base lending rates had been reduced consequent upon the rate reduction announced by the Reserve Bank. There was a detailed and free flowing discussion on ways to develop core competence and niche banking. The issue of asset quality was discussed in detail and banks described measures being taken to improve asset quality and profitability with special focus on non interest income. The institutional measures being taken to assist Banks in reducing NPAs were also discussed.
The meeting took stock of the sectoral profile of the total domestic credit flow of Rs.48.25 lakh crore upto September, 2015 and noted that 58% of the agricultural credit target for the year had been achieved. Finance Minister Shri Jaitley urged the banks to achieve the target of20% growth in disbursement and 15% growth in number of accounts and also attempt to even out regional disparity in such loans. The banks briefed the meeting about various efforts that they are taking in the sector.
Finance Minister Shri Arun Jaitley reviewed the progress made by banks in activating the Vidya Lakshmi Portal, which is a first-of-its-kind portal providing a single window facility for students to access information and apply for educational loans provided by Banks as well as Government scholarships. Banks were requested to enter early into the required agreement to take advantage of new credit guarantee scheme.
While noting good growth at 18.69% in housing loans, PSBs were also strongly encouraged to achieve growth in priority sector housing loans, which are intrinsically secure loans and which are required to provide a stimulus to overall growth. All bankers reiterated their commitment to focus on these loans.
Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana
The meeting dwelt at length on ways to increase the impact of the Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana. Finance Minister Shri Arun Jaitley urged the banks to accelerate disbursements as PSBs were expected to achieve a potential of at least Rs 70,000 crore during the current financial year. It was noted that the Indian Banks’ Association had put together a phased publicity plan, to ensure that eligible entrepreneurs were fully informed about PMMY, and thereby enabled to approach banks with their projects. While the banks increased publicity for the scheme, the demand side was being addressed by linking the skill development centers run by various Central and State Government departments, ITIs and SHGs with the banks’ financial literacy outreach. It was noted that the State-wise targets allocated by the banks needed to be reviewed, keeping in view not only the population size, but also the business potential of the state. The financial literacy outreach was being designed to cover both pre-loan familiarization training and post loan disbursal guidance regarding the credit process, repayments schedules and MSME related facilities.
At the end, Minister of State for Finance Shri Jayant Sinha distributed trophies and certificate to the winners in the category of best banks and best bank branch in order to recognise the best performers who made Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY) a successful scheme.