Union Finance Minister Smt Nirmala Sitharaman chaired a meeting with Chairpersons and senior officials of Regional Rural Banks from Southern Region, in Chennai today. The meeting was attended by Secretary Department of Financial Services Dr Vivek Joshi and senior RBI officials. Finance Sercretary of Tamil Nadu Shri T. Udhayachandran, Secretaries and senior officiers from state Finance Ministries of Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Kerala, Puducherry and Karnataka were present at the meeting. The Managing Directors and CEOs of State Bank of India, Indian Bank, Union Bank of India, Canara Bank, Indian Overseas Bank and NABARD also took part in the discussions.
The deliberations revolved around financial performance of Regional Rural Banks as DFS Secretary gave a presentation on various financial metrics of the RRBs.
Finance Minister Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman stressed that the Regional Rural Banks should continue their focus on the flagship schemes of the Central Government such as Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana, Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojana, PM SVANidhi, Atal Pension Yojana, PM Jan Dhan Yojana, PM Mudra Yojana, Kisan Credit Cards (KCC), KCC Animal Husbandry & Fisheries, etc and aim for their saturation.
While highlighting that the CD Ratio, Gross NPAs, and Provision Coverage Ratio (PCR) of Regional Rural Banks of the Southern region was better than the national average, Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman exhorted the RRBs and Sponsor Banks to improve Current and Savings Account (CASA) Ratio of RRBs.
The Union Finance Minister stated that better adoption of technology, Loan Management System and Core Banking System should be done in a time-bound manner in the RRBs of the Southern region. The Finance Minister further said that RRBs should focus on increasing digitally active customers in line with government’s effort to move towards greater digitalisation.
Finance Minister also said that Sponsor Banks should map RRBs with MSME clusters and improve their presence in these clusters, while devising innovative products for the MSME to serve them in a better way. She exhorted RRBs from the region to work closely with the RBI and State Authorities concerned to improve their physical presence across the state. She also highlighted leveraging Account Aggregator Framework especially for lending to the Allied agricultural sector like fisheries and animal husbandry, besides granting loans to street vendors under PM SVANidhi scheme.