Govt keen to boost credit off­take in fes­ti­val sea­son

The Times of India (New Delhi edition) - - Times Busi­ness -

De­tail­ing the lat­est push from the gov­ern­ment to en­sure greater credit off­take, Sithara­man said banks along with NBFCs will sit un­der “shami­anas” in a pub­lic place and ful­fil the loan re­quire­ments of var­i­ous groups.

This, she said, was be­ing done to en­able ev­ery­one to see that banks are go­ing out and pro­vid­ing credit and dis­pel the no­tion that sched­uled com­mer­cial banks are sit­ting with liq­uid­ity.

Sithara­man said that in the first phase, which will start next Tues­day and end on September 29, 200 dis­tricts will be cov­ered. There­after, the next 200 dis­tricts will be cov­ered be­tween Oc­to­ber 10 and 15. “So in two tranches, 400 dis­tricts of the coun­try will have their neigh­bour­hood NBFCs or NBFCS who op­er­ate in that area linked with banks and get­ting newer cus­tomers to come and take credit,” Sithara­man said, adding that banks have been told that for ev­ery one old cus­tomer, five new cus­tomers have to be brought in.

“That’s the thumb rule we have of­fered. That for ev­ery one cus­tomer who wants a loan, please give him. But for ev­ery new, who you give now, you will bring some­body fresh, some­body who has never taken a loan from a bank should be brought and given for the cat­e­gory he wants,” Sithara­man said. The FM said that ju­nior fi­nance min­is­ter Anurag Thakur will over­see the loan pro­gramme of PSU banks.

The gov­ern­ment is keen to en­sure that credit off­take gath­ers pace in the fes­ti­val sea­son to help jump­start de­mand for goods rang­ing from con­sumer goods to hous­ing and re­tail loans. The Cen­tre has un­veiled a string of mea­sures to counter the im­pact of a slow­down in eco­nomic growth that slowed to an over 6-year low of 5% in the April-June quar­ter trig­ger­ing call for steps to take im­me­di­ate steps to bol­ster growth.

Re­gard­ing the relief to MSMEs, Sithara­man said an ex­ist­ing Re­serve Bank pro­vi­sion em­pow­ers the banks to not de­clare them NPA even af­ter the 90 days. “So if there are stressed as­sets MSMEs, the banks have enough pow­ers given by the Re­serve Bank to not de­clare him NPA and work out with them if pos­si­ble to re­struc­ture his loan so that he can get out of the dif­fi­cult sit­u­a­tion,” the FM said.

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