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FM Sitharaman says many PSBs have come back to normalcy now

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Sunday said that the banking sector, especially public sector banks were in a better position now, while inaugurating Tamilnad Mercantile Bank (TMB)’s Centenary celebrations in Thoothukudi.

“Today, the sector is stable after continuous prompt steps that the Government has taken. Many banks in the public sector have come back to normalcy now,” she said.

In her address, she emphasised the need for banks to adopt digitisation as a means to accelerate financial inclusion. She said that there are a lot of prospects for banking and that the changes in the banking sector were occuring at a very rapid pace. She believed that digitisation cannot be avoided and must be embraced.

“It is possible to be more efficient if you (banks) adopt complete technology related solutions,” Sitharaman explained. “Technology related solutions take away a lot of other problems. Fintech is the biggest area using which we are able to cross-populate data into forms. It may be income tax or GST also, auto populating data is a big help. Auto population of data which is available otherwise can assist with credit rating too and can happen only with digitisation.”

She went on to list the merits of the PM Jan Dhan Yojana and said that it was financial inclusion done in its truest sense as the scheme managed to bring large proportions of the unbanked population into the formal banking fold.

“PM Modi when he brought the Jan Dhan yojana was clearly aware that many of these accounts may be zero balance accounts but he did not hesitate. He said I would want them to go to the bank and transact, taking financial inclusion to the poorest of the poor and building on it gradually with the Mudra loan and SVANidhi loan… He ensured that every one must hold a bank account and be able to transact through a RuPay card,” she said.

She went on to add that this formed the basis for the government to distribute Rs 1,500 in three installments to the needy through their bank accounts during the Covid-19 outbreak. Along the same vein, she said that the Centre also introduced the Emergency Credit Guarantee Liquidity Scheme during the pandemic to enable MSMEs to do business without collecting any additional collateral.

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