New Delhi: The measures taken by the government for the public sector banks reeling under the pressures of non-productive loans, have been implemented successfully as Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman claimed that 13 banks had declared profits in the first six months of this year. The Finance Minister gave this information after the meeting with public sector banks, in New Delhi, on Saturday. At the same time, Sitharaman advised that the Banks need not be wary of the government agencies and should function without any pressure.
Since the last few months, the growth of the Indian economy has slowed down. The situation of the banking sector also is considered to be a factor contributing to the downturn of the economy. The non-productive loans have become the most significant cause of concern for the Indian banks. The Union government announced various reforms and measures to counter the situation. But these did not produce the desired results. Against this background, Finance Minister Sitharaman held a meeting with the senior officials of the public sector banks. Finance Minister Sitharaman announced some crucial decisions at this time.
Finance Minister Sitharaman clarified, “The Indian banks have been passing through an alarming situation since some time. The government investigation agencies and issues have affected the decision making of these banks. Therefore, some decisions have been taken, following due discussions with the CBI and other agencies.” Sitharaman comforted the banks saying that the banks need not be unnecessarily wary of CBI, CAG and Central Vigilance Commission.
Sitharaman, in the press conference held after the meeting, announced the scrapping of the Merchant Discount Rate (MDR), to facilitate online transactions further. The Finance Minister said that companies having a turnover of more than ₹ 500 million, cannot charge MDR to its customers and small traders, from January 1, 2020. She also clarified that making ‘Low-Cost Digital Payment Mode’ facility, available to the users of RuPay and UPI would be the responsibility of these companies.