Jaitley to meet public sector bank heads for performance review

New Delhi, Sep 15 (IANS) Finance Minister Arun Jaitley will undertake a quarterly performance review here of state-run banks on Friday, said an official.

Jaitley will hold a Quarterly Performance Review meeting with the Chief Executive Officers and Managing Directors of public sector banks (PSBs) and financial institutions (FIs) in the national capital tomorrow (Friday), a finance ministry statement said.

“During the one-day meeting, the Finance Minister will review the overall performance of PSBs in the current financial year and last quarter in particular,” it said.

“The Finance Minister will review the progress of credit and growth and asset quality especially with regard to priority sectors lending including credit flow to agriculture, insurance sector, micro and small enterprises (MSE), minorities, SC and ST, education and housing loan among others,” it added.

According to the ministry, the progress made in various social sector schemes such as Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana, Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojana and Atal Pension Yojana. Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY), Stand-Up India and MUDRA schemes will also be reviewed.

“The issues relating to financial inclusion and literacy as well as non performing assets (NPAs), or banks’ bad loans are also likely to be discussed at the meeting,” the statement added.

Many state-run banks have reported huge losses for the quarter ended June 30, owing to a sharp rise in provisioning for NPAs on account of an asset quality review ordered by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).

The government last month announced infusion of Rs 22,915 crore capital for 13 PSBs, as part of the first tranche of capital infusion for the current fiscal.

Friday’s meeting also assumes significance in light of recent media reports citing specific instances where Re 1 or more was deposited by bankers themselves to lower the number of zero balance accounts.

In a clarification in this regard on Wednesday, the Finance Ministry said: “In view of the specific instances mentioned, facts are being ascertained to assess if there has been any misunderstanding at the branch level of the objectives of the scheme (Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana).”

–IANS

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