FM Nirmala Sitharaman launches EASE 4.0, reviews performance of public sector banks

FM Nirmala Sitharaman press conference: Finance Minister is on a two-day visit to Mumbai where she met chiefs of public sector banks (PSBs) and undertook the annual performance review of these lenders.

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Wednesday undertook the annual performance review of the public sector banks (PSBs) and launched the EASE 4.0 or Enhanced Access and Service Excellence – a common reform agenda for PSBs aimed at institutionalising clean and smart banking.

Sitharaman, who is currently on a two-day visit to Mumbai met the chiefs of PSBs and undertook the annual performance review of the public sector lenders, said that she requested PSU banks to address the needs of the exporters.

This was the finance minister’s first visit since the onset of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic.

She asked the banks to interact with export promotion councils and noted that the nature of banking is changing and the industry realised avenues of raising funds changing.

She said that the banks have been directed to interact regularly with the Federation of Indian Exporters Organisation so the exporters don’t have to shuttle between various bankers.

“With changed times, now industries have option of raising funds even from outside banking sector. Banks themselves are raising funds through various avenues. These new aspects need to be studied to target credit where it is needed,” Sitharaman said.

The finance minister said that sunrise sectors such as the fintech sector need support from banks and added that she has asked the PSBs to improve credit flow to eastern states.

“From inputs given by officers from Tax administration, it emerged that Banks need to understand the special requirements of Sunrise sector. e.g. Fintech, one such sector can provide technological help to banks as well as can benefit from help from banking sector,” she said.

She further said that she has requested banks to work with state governments to push the ‘one district, one export’ agenda.

Speaking on the performance of the PSBs, Sitharaman said that collectively, they have done well and come out of Prompt Corrective Action (PCA) despite service extended during pandemic.

“They are showing clear profits and 2 of them have done very well. Banks have shown that now they can raise money for their capital requirements,” she said.

More to follow

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