Finance Minister reviews PSB’s readiness to tackle disruptions amid Omicron

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New Delhi: Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Friday chaired a meeting with chiefs of public sector banks and assessed their readiness to tackle any possible disruptions due to the Omicron variant.

The finance ministry said during the meeting with bank CMDs/MDs, held through virtual mode, the minister also asked the lenders to support sectors, besides farm retail and MSMEs, that face interruption due to Covid.

Sitharaman also reviewed various steps taken by PSBs in implementing pandemic-related measures initiated by the government and RBI.

During the review meeting, “Smt Sitharaman assessed various steps taken by PSBs in implementing pandemic-related measures initiated by the Government of India and Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and readiness to tackle possible future disruptions that may occur due to the ongoing variant of the Covid- 19 pandemic,” the ministry said in a statement.

The ongoing third wave of the highly infectious Omicron variant of coronavirus has led to various domestic rating agencies lowering India’s growth forecast for the current fiscal.

India Ratings and Research cut its forecast to 9.3 percent. from 9.4 percent earlier, while Brickwork Ratings has revised its estimates to 8.5-9 percent from 10 percent.

While appreciating the success of ECLGS, the Finance Minister said it is not time yet to rest on our achievements, and that our collective efforts must strive towards. supporting sectors that face interruption due to the continued onslaught of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Sitharaman also conveyed to the bankers to continue supporting the agriculture sector, farmers, retail sector, and MSMEs, according to the statement.

Sitharaman noted that business outlook is progressively improving despite the headwinds from global development and Omicron spread. She underlined that contact intensive sectors may require more support to help them fight against the pandemic.

She also said that credit demand is expected to pick up on account of growth in retail segments, improvement in overall macroeconomic prospects, and improving the financial health of borrowers, as per the statement. Under Credit Outreach Programme. PSBs have sanctioned an aggregate loan amount of Rs. 61,268 crore.

Source – PTI