"This year, we will start something (consolidation) and next year something. This is very much doable and which will further strengthen the banking industry," Financial Services Secretary G S Sandhu said at an event organised by Ficci.
"Various issues on consolidation is under examination. So based on the merit, we will take up the consolidation. It would be a long haul. It would not be an easy process. It would not be easy to do it in one go. So, gradually we will take it up," he said.
Earlier this week Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in his Budget speech said: "There have been some suggestions for consolidation of Public Sector Banks. Government, in principle, agrees to consider these suggestions."
Jaitley, speaking to reporters after the Budget, had said that the consolidation could be between a big bank and its subsidiaries.
It may be recalled that talks have been going on for long for merging SBI's subsidiaries with the parent bank.
SBI first merged its State Bank of Saurashtra with itself in 2008. Two years later in 2010, State Bank of Indore was merged with SBI.
The country's largest lender has five associate banks State Bank of Bikaner and Jaipur, State Bank of Travancore, State Bank of Patiala, State Bank of Mysore and State Bank of Hyderabad.
Among these, State Bank of Bikaner and Jaipur, State Bank of Mysore and State Bank of Travancore are listed entities.