Finance Minister Arun Jaitley today met Public Sector Banks (PSBs) chiefs to review the progress made in tackling the NPA mess. “Steel, infrastructure are major contributors of NPAs. We held discussions on asset quality and other issues. We discussed problems of the banking sector,” FM Arun Jaitley said after the meet. “We discussed the Q1 earnings performance with PSU banks. Financial inclusion, literacy, educational loans, insurance and pension schemes were also topics of discussion,” Jaitley added. According to Jaitley, housing loans appear to have picked up.
Commenting on the controversy over Re 1 deposits by banks in Jan-Dhan accounts, FM Arun Jaitley said, “Rs 42,000 crore have been deposited in 24 crore Jan Dhan accounts. These are of people mostly belonging to weaker sections. This money cannot come from Re one deposits,” Jaitley said. “We have asked banks about the dressing up of Jan Dhan account balance,” he added.
Recently, the Finance Ministry had observed that there is no requirement of minimum balance in the Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY) accounts. Finance Ministry said, “in view of the specific instances mentioned (in a media report), facts are being ascertained to assess if there has been any misunderstanding at the branch level of the objectives of the scheme”. In a release, it said it needs to be appreciated that since the absence of balance in PMJDY accounts in no way diminishes the benefits associated with these accounts, there is no requirement of even a small balance in the accounts. The PMJDY, it said, continues to be a robust scheme which provides benefits even when there is no balance in the accounts.