Nirmala Sitharaman asks banks not to declare stressed MSMEs as NPAs till March next year

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Published: September 19, 2019 9:02:50 PM

Credit and Finance for MSMEs: Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Thursday said that banks should not declare stressed loan account of MSMEs as non-performing assets (NPA) till March 31, 2020.

The minister said that the public sector banks will be meeting NBFCs and retail borrowers in 400 districts in two tranches from next week onwards.

Credit and Finance for MSMEs: Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Thursday said that banks should not declare stressed loan account of MSMEs as non-performing assets (NPA) till March 31, 2020. The minister asking banks to recast MSME loans instead of declaring them NPAs said that banks should sit with the MSME and work out how best they can come out of the issue even if more credit is to be given to the MSME. Nirmala Sitharaman was addressing the media after meeting the heads of PSU banks heads.

According to Nirmala Sitharaman, banks have identified some NBFCs to which they can give money in order to ease liquidity and credit access to MSMEs seeking capital those seeking money. The minister also said that the government has planned to organise ‘loan melas’ to boost lending amid the current economic slowdown. The minister said that the public sector banks will be meeting NBFCs and retail borrowers in 400 districts in two tranches from next week onwards — first between September 24 and September 29 in 200 districts and second between October 10 and October 15 in another 200 districts — to give credit to borrowers.

Also read: Nirmala Sitharaman reviews liquidity situation: PSU banks to hold loan melas for NBFCs, retail borrowers

The government had announced the merger of 10 PSU banks into four major lenders that led to the number of PSBs coming down to 12 from 24 banks, Sitharaman had said at a press conference on August 30. The minister last week had launched more than Rs 70,000 crore of measures for exporters and the real estate sector that including around Rs 30,000 crore worth new spending towards launching a stressed asset fund, PTI had reported. The government on Wednesday had cleared an Ordinance to stop e-cigarettes sale and manufacturing and proposed jail up to one year or fine up to Rs 1 lakh or both for first-time offenders, and jail of up to three years and fine up to Rs 5 lakh for repeat offenders.

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