Committing to bold reforms that would professionalise public sector banks, finance minister Arun Jaitley on Saturday assured bankers that the government was ready to protect their commercial decisions, as “risks have to be taken” by them.
Speaking at the Gyan Sangam in Pune, he said the government was willing to “reconsider the rules” to help banks reduce the non-performing assets (NPAs), which have become a major challenge for the banking industry.
“The government is open to bold decisions for professionalisation of the management and autonomy in decision making, rewarding merit, and relooking at the recruitment process at the top management level of PSBs,” Jaitley said.
He said the government was ready to protect commercial decisions so as to avoid the delay in good decisions. “Risks have to be taken. The positives are that there is an element of decisiveness in the new government and there is large popular support for that,” the finance minister added.
In order to improve the economic situation, Jaitley said the government has taken a number of “bold steps” on pushing the goods and services tax and amendment to the Land Acquisition Act with a view to reviving infrastructure growth.
In addition, he said, steps have been taken to increase FDI and domestic investment to give big push to the manufacturing sector.
“Banks have a major role to play in the financing of infrastructure. Growth in power and other infrastructure sectors needs to be revived,” Jaitley said.
Referring to the Prime Minister’s Jan Dhan Yojna (PMJDY), he said most of the inactive accounts will become operational with the introduction of direct benefit transfer. “These account holders will become a symbol of the identity of the cashless system.”
Till date, over 10 crore bank accounts have been opened under the scheme, one month ahead of the deadline.