Wednesday, May 25, 2022

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FM Nirmala Sitharaman reviews PSBs’ readiness to tackle any Omicron-induced disruption

Union Minister of Finance Nirmala Sitharaman reviewed the performance of Public Sector Banks (PSBs) with their Chairmen and Managing Directors via virtual mode in New Delhi on Friday. During the review meeting, Mrs Sitharaman assessed various steps taken by PSBs in implementing pandemic-related measures as well as readiness to tackle possible future disruptions that may occur due to the ongoing variant of the COVID-19 pandemic. While appreciating the Emergency Credit Line Guarantee Scheme (ECLGS), Ms Sitharaman also conveyed to the bankers to continue supporting agriculture sector, farmers, retail sector and MSMEs. She noted that business outlook is progressively improving in spite of the headwinds from global development and Omicron spread.

The Finance Minister underlined that contact intensive sectors may require more support to help them fight against the pandemic. Finance Minister also said that credit demand is expected to pick up on account of growth in retails segments, improvement in overall macroeconomic prospects and improving financial health of borrowers.

During the review meeting, bankers pointed out that PSBs have observed an improvement in the repayment culture in the country. They said that PSBs have performed well and, supported by various policy measures, provided the required impetus to the economy. It was observed that PSBs have recorded net profit of 31 thousand 820 crore rupees in Fiscal Year  2020-21 which is the  highest in last 5 financial years. Public Sector Banks  have also  effected a recovery of  over 5 lakh 49 thousand  crore rupees  during the last 7 financial years.

The review meeting was also attended by Union Minister of State for Finance Dr Bhagwat Kisanrao Karad and Secretary, Department of Financial Services (DFS), Debasish Panda, along with senior officials.

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