Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman chaired a meeting with chairpersons and senior officials of regional rural banks (RRBs) from southern region, in Chennai on Friday. The deliberations revolved around financial performance of regional rural banks as DFS Secretary gave a presentation on various financial metrics of the RRBs.
Sitharaman stressed that the RRBs 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 and Fisheries and so on. While highlighting that the CD ratio, gross NPAs, and provision coverage ratio (PCR) of RRBs of the southern region was better than the national average, Sitharaman exhorted the RRBs and sponsor banks to improve the current and savings account (CASA) ratio of RRBs.
The FM 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. She further said that RRBs should focus on increasing digitally active customers in line with the government’s effort to move towards greater digitalisation. 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.