Finace And Stock

PM Modi nudges banks to back wealth, job creators

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

Modi said his government was using all channels, including diplomatic, to bring back high-profile economic offenders, leaving them with no option but to return. “This is the time for you to support wealth creators and job creators,” he said, adding that it was the need of the hour that banks in India worked proactively to bolster the ‘wealth sheet of the country’ along with their balance sheets.

“Indian banks are strong enough to play a major role in imparting fresh energy to the country’s economy, for giving a big push and making India self-reliant,” he said.

Modi said the banking sector has to understand that in India it was time for investing in ideas. “It is time to support startups. Startup is an idea, there is no asset, it is just an idea,” he said.

Banks need to shed the culture of being an approver and the customer being an applicant, he said, and instead adopt a model of partnership.

“Don’t wait for customers to come to banks. You have to go to them,” he said, while assuring bankers that he will “stand by them like a wall” for every honest decision they take.

Govt reforms strengthened PSBs

Modi further said that the reforms initiated by the government in the banking sector in the last six-seven years had supported the banking sector in every way, due to which the sector was in a very strong position. “We addressed the problem of non-performing assets (NPAs), recapitalised banks and increased their strength. We brought in reforms like Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC), reformed many laws and empowered the Debt Recovery Tribunal,” he said.

The government will continue to undertake reforms, he said, adding that the steps taken in recent years had created a strong capital base for banks.

Banks had sufficient liquidity and no backlog for provisioning of bad loans, he said, while pointing out that NPAs in public sector banks were at the lowest in the last five years. This had led to the upgrade of the outlook for the Indian banks by international agencies, he noted.

He asked bankers to offer “customised solutions” to businesses and micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) and push ahead with adoption of fintech.

Setting a target for banks, he said by August 15, 2022, every bank branch should have at least 100 clients who conduct the entire business digitally.

Bank frauds

Modi said his government was using all channels to bring back high-profile economic offenders.

“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.

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