The government on Monday took stock of credit growth and the performance of public sector banks (PSBs) on parameters including asset quality, financials, and recoveries from bad loans.
State-owned lenders have been asked to expedite the resolution of non-performing assets (NPAs).
Finance ministry officials took stock of PSBs’ NPAs of over Rs 100 crore, an official said.
The meeting was scheduled to be chaired by Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, but she could not attend it.
Minister of State for Finance Bhagwat Karad presided over the meeting, which was attended by Financial Services Secretary Sanjay Malhotra and senior officials of the Department of Financial Services (DFS).
With PSBs conducting a credit outreach programme during the Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav last week, the progress made on sanctioning loans was reviewed.
Growth in lending by PSBs improved to 7.8 per cent in March 2022 from 3.6 per cent a year ago, but was lower than the 15.1 per cent by private banks in the same month, according to the Reserve Bank of India’s quarterly statistics.
An evaluation of PSBs’ capital-raising plans and efforts made to improve investor relations was also done.
After the launch of the EASE 5.0 reforms agenda earlier this month, banks were asked to share the progress on preparing a three-year bank-specific strategic road map, the official said. Finance ministry officials reviewed the off-Budget borrowings by state government entities from PSBs.
With regard to financial inclusion, which was the second broader theme for review, the progress made by state-owned lenders on opening Jan Dhan accounts, and various schemes of the Centre such as the Agriculture Infrastructure Fund (AIF), Animal Husbandry Infrastructure Development (AHIDF), Pradhan Mantri Formalisation of Micro Food-Processing Enterprises (PMFME), was also assessed.
Banks have been asked to put up branches in unbanked villages, the official said.
The progress made by banks on setting up 75 digital banking units, as announced by Sitharaman in the Union Budget 2022-23, was looked at.
Banks have identified 75 districts that cover all states and Union Territories in the country. All PSBs, along with some private banks, have initiated work on having these units operational for launch in August this year.
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