Public Sector Banks Have Adequate Lending Capacity Post Notes Ban, Says Finance Minister Arun Jaitley: Highlights

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Public Sector Banks Have Adequate Lending Capacity Post Notes Ban, Says Finance Minister Arun Jaitley: Highlights

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley held the press conference on economy at National Media Centre.

New Delhi:  The macro economic fundamentals of the economy are strong, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said today as he held a press conference flanked by top officials of his ministry. Finance Ministry officials made detailed presentations on their departments. The venue for the press conference was shifted from Shastri Bhawan to the National Media Centre, which has a better facility for audio-visual presentations. The government has been under attack from the Opposition as well former union ministers Yashwant Sinha and Arun Shourie, who have attributed the economic slowdown to what they say is the poor handling of key reforms like demonetisation and the Goods and Services Tax (GST). Economic growth slumped to a three-year-low of 5.7 per cent in the June quarter, the lowest in three years. Earlier today, Mr Jaitley tweeted that the fine for delayed filing of GST returns would be waived for August and September.
 

Here are the highlights of Arun Jaitley's speech:

  • Last month, I had mentioned that we will appropriately respond to the challenges on GST
  • India has remained world's fastest growing large economy for the last three years
  • Macro-economic fundamentals are strong
  • Sometimes major reforms bring minor hiccups, but in the mid and long terms, these prove to be far more beneficial
  • If you see, from 2014, you'll see a steady decline in inflation. Some is the case for our current account deficits... last year it was as low as 0.7 %....


Subhash Chandra Garg, Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance, briefing media
  • There has been a consistent low inflation story
  • Some is the case for our current account deficits... last year it was as low as 0.7 %...
  • We have crossed $400 billion forex reserves
  • GST has been the biggest reform, along with other ones like deonetisation and the battle against black money
  • There is very low level of current account deficit, in safe ranges of less than around 2%
  • We are taking up a mega and historic road and infrastructure building programme
  • Effective and targeted Government spending is the main priority of Government

Ashok Lavasa, Finance Secretary
  • Effective and targeted Government spending is the main priority of Government
  • The biggest component of road building program, the Bharat Mala programme
  • 34,800 kms of roads to be built and it will see investment of Rs 5, 35,000 over next five years
  
  • Inter-country trade to be facilitated by improving infra leading to border points
  • About 2000 km of coastal roads will be constructed in first phase of 
     Bharat Mala
  • Stronger fundamentals will fuel public spending and which in turn will lead to stronger banks  
  
Financial Services Secretary Rajiv Kumar on two-year roadmap for PSBs
  • Cabinet has approved an unprecedented PSB capitalisation plan of Rs. 2 lakh 11 thousand crores
 
  • Various capital infusion measures taken by Govt. to ensure health of Public Sector Banks
 
  • Increased provisioning done by PSBs to cover expected losses, improving banks' health

Arun Jaitley 
  • We have strengthened the banks unlike what we saw between 2008 and 2014, when the loans were given by the dozen and the real situation of the banks were not discussed
  • It is only since 2015 that the ground reality in banks have changed... they have become robust
  • Need to step up public expenditure. Measures today will boost infra spending in a big way
  • The huge spending on  infrastructure announced today will give a fillip to private sector investment
  • There is a public sector bank capitalization plan of 2.11 lakh crore. Public Sector Banks Have Adequate Lending Capacity Now, Post Demonetisation
  • Once you strengthen banks, appetite for their stock will improve
  • It was decided that a bold step needs to be taken by the government to recapitalise banks
  • Part of capital of PSU banks to come by raising funds; to decide nature of recapitalisation bonds in due course
Arun Jaitley on willful defaulters:
  • Over 8,100 willful defaulters owe banks over Rs 76,600 crore
  • There is no embargo as far as willful defaulters are concerned
  • Under our banking law, names of willful defaulters are available publicly


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