PM urges banks to support wealth and job creators, work proactively to improve India's balance sheet

The prime minister also said that the recently set up National Asset Reconstruction Co (NARCL) would help resolve Rs 2 lakh crore of stressed assets

FP Staff November 18, 2021 16:32:58 IST
PM urges banks to support wealth and job creators, work proactively to improve India's balance sheet

File image of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. ANI

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday exhorted banks to support wealth and job creators, and work proactively to improve the country's balance sheet.

Addressing bankers at the symposium to ‘Build Synergy for Seamless Credit Flow and Economic Growth', Modi said banks have to now adopt a partnership model to help businesses thrive and move away from the idea of being a loan "approver" to a loan "applicant".

"Banks have to support wealth creators and job creators... It is time that banks, along with their own balance sheets, help increase the balance sheet of the country," Modi said.

He nudged bankers to offer "customised solutions" to businesses and micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs). "Don't wait for customers to come to banks. You have to go to them," he said.

As per Moneycontrol, Modi, citing an example of two defense corridors were being set up in Bundelkhand in Uttar Pradesh and Tamil Nadu, said banks need to think about how they can go out and reach enterprises in these two areas.

"Banks should look at providing best services and if banks play this role, then the government's plan to set up these corridors will not face delays," he added, as per the report.

"PSU Banks today after consolidation have a large capital base and have good liquidity, NPAs provisioning backlog doesn’t exist," Modi further said.

He said banks are ready to give a push to the economy of India and help the agenda of 'Atmanirbhar Bharat' and it is a big milestone in the journey of the Indian banking sector.

The prime minister also highlighted how the Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana has been a game-changer and one of the great examples of financial inclusion across the world. Further banks should also support project financing and support individual big infrastructure accounts, he said.

The prime minister said banks should proactively get involved in the growth story. He gave the example of the Production Linked Incentive (PLI) scheme where the government is doing the same by giving Indian manufacturers an incentive on production. Under the PLI scheme, manufacturers have been incentivised to increase their capacity manifold and transform themselves into global companies. Banks can play a big role in making projects viable through their support and expertise, said Modi.

"The financial health of banks is now in a much-improved condition. We brought reforms like IBC, reformed many laws, empowered debt recovery tribunal," he said, as per The Times of India.

“Today there is a need to unlock the productive potential of Indian citizens. The more you invest in citizens and their ideas, the more employment can be achieved. You have to align your efforts with the government’s goals”, Modi said, as per Hindu Business Line.

Saying Indians are quick to adapt to new technologies, Modi urged bankers not to delay initiatives when it came to Fintech, as per the report. He also set a target for banks wherein by 15 August each bank branch should have at least 100 completely digital customers.

"Banking sector has to understand this that in India it is time for investing in ideas. It is time to support startups. Startup is an idea, there is no asset, it is just an idea.  "You (banks) have no dearth of resources, data. The government will continue to do reforms, and you (banks) have moved forward along with the nation's commitment and target," he said.

More than five lakh crore recovery has been made by banks from stressed loans, Modi said, as per Livemint.

Stating that banks have adequate liquidity and non-performing loans are lowest in five years, he said despite the COVID-19 pandemic, the banking sector has remained strong in the first half (April-September) in current fiscal. This has led to an upgrade in sector outlook by international agencies.

He also said that the recently set up National Asset Reconstruction Co (NARCL) would help resolve Rs 2 lakh crore of stressed assets.

"Reforms in last six-seven years have led to banking sector in a strong position today... We have addressed non-performing assets (NPAs) of banks, recapitalised banks, brought bankruptcy laws and strengthened debt recovery tribunal," Modi added.

Modi on Thursday said his government is using all channels including diplomatic to bring back high-profile economic offenders, leaving them with no option but to return to the country.

"In our attempt to bring back fugitive (economic offenders), we relied on policies and law and also used diplomatic channels. The message is very clear -- return to your country. We are continuing these efforts," he said.    He, however, did not name or refer to any particular offender.

India has in recent times stepped up efforts to extradite high-profile economic offenders such as Vijay Mallya and Nirav Modi, wanted in connection with bank frauds and money laundering cases.

With inputs from PTI

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