In liquidity push, PSBs plan ‘loan melas’ in 400 districts

Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman with Mos Anurag Thakur during a press conference in New Delhi on September 19, 2019.   | Photo Credit: Shiv Kumar Pushpakar

In a bid to dispel the notion that only the banks have liquidity and it is not flowing to the NBFCs and the customers, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Thursday announced that all scheduled banks will hold large gatherings in a total of 400 districts, where customers can come and take any type of loan they want from the banks and the NBFCs partnering with them.

The Finance Ministry, in a release, added that banks had already entered into 14 tie-ups with NBFCs for co-originating loans, with another 36 such tie-ups in the pipeline. 

Ms. Sitharaman added that no MSME stressed loan would be classified as an NPA until March 31, 2020. “The perception is that the banks have the liquidity and this is not going to the NBFCs and from there to the end customers,” she said at a press conference, following a meeting with the heads of the public sector banks.

“We have decided that in 200 districts between now and September 29, there will be gatherings organised by banks of the NBFCs they have partnered with,” she added. Another 200 districts will see these gatherings organised between October 10-15.

The programme, which will be headed by Minister of State for Finance Anurag Thakur, is meant to encourage customers to avail of not just retail, agriculture, and MSME loans, but also loans for vehicles and housing, and Mudra loans.

“In public, the banks will show that they are pushing liquidity into the system,” Ms. Sitharaman said.

The Finance Minister said she has asked banks to try to get five new borrowers for every existing customer availing of a loan.

“There are several MSMEs that want a one-time settlement of their dues,” Ms. Sitharaman said. “We have instructed the banks to give us the number of such cases between July 1 and September 30.” While there is an existing RBI provision that empowers banks to not classify stressed MSME loans as NPAs even if the 90-day limit is crossed, most banks had not used this provision, she said.

“We have told the banks that no MSME-stressed loan will be classified as an NPA until March 31, 2020 and the banks will have work with these MSMEs to see how to resolve the stress, even if that means additional credit be given,” Ms. Sitharaman added. The government will also be considering the banks’ request for a special dispensation to be given for farmers and MSMEs.

The government release said bank disbursement stood at ₹11.83 lakh crore for the MSME sector in FY 2018-19 compared with ₹8.53 lakh crore in FY 2017-18.

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Printable version | May 17, 2021 4:03:17 AM |

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