Finance Minister P. Chidambaram will meet public sector banks and financial institutions chiefs on August 18 in the Capital.
This will be his first meeting with PSU bank chiefs after assuming charge as Finance Minister on August 1.
This meeting is significant as it comes in the backdrop of the banking industry facing a crisis-like situation on several fronts, including rising bad loans and human resource problems.
There is also the threat of drought in several parts of the country, adversely impacting bank balance-sheets in the second quarter.
Chidambaram has also invited the heads of Nabard, Exim Bank, National Housing Bank, India Infrastructure Finance Company Ltd and SIDBI. The Chairman of pension regulator, PFRDA, has also been invited, official sources said. Chidambaram’s predecessor, Pranab Mukherjee, also followed the practice of meeting chief executives of PSU banks.
Such meetings offer an opportunity to the Finance Minister to review the status of financial inclusion, extent of farm credit growth and progress on the education loans front.
Already, Chidambaram has indicated that he would prefer lower interest rates to spur investments.
The RBI expects the Indian economy to grow 6.5 per cent in the current fiscal, while the Prime Minister’s Economic Advisory Council Chairman, C. Rangarajan, had pegged it higher than 6.5 per cent.