Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal on Wednesday urged the public and private sector banks of the state to devise a standard operating plan to maximize credit flow to MSMEs and other stressed sectors.
He made the request in the backdrop of Prime Minister’s announcement of an economic stimulus package worth Rs. 20 lac crore to galvanize the economy which was hit hard by the novel coronavirus induced nationwide lockdown.
Sonowal also said that the state government would constitute a committee with representation of bank officials to oversee implementation of the economic package and ensure that all affected sectors get optimum benefits.
The Chief Minister further said that under present circumstances the economic stimulus package is a historic announcement by the Prime Minister and the banks must seize this opportunity to rejuvenate the battered economy.
Observing that the MSME sector is one of the core areas of the state’s economy, Sonowal urged the banks to reach out to the entrepreneurs during this time of distress with more credit flow.
The Chief Minister suggested the banks come out with standard operating plans to ensure maximum disbursal of loans so that there is more liquidity in the market.
He further said that the state government would form a committee including representatives from banks for better execution of the economic package.
Urging the bankers to be positive in their outlook, Sonowal advised them to convene meeting with all stakeholders to negate the possibility of the loans turning into bad loans.
He moreover said that the coronavirus pandemic had been an eye-opener in terms of Assam’s strengths and weaknesses in the economic sector and it was time to capitalize the learning to reap dividends to boost the economy.
Further stating that the economic package brings much hope for the Agri and allied sectors, Sonowal called upon the banks to pump in more money in building agricultural infrastructure and focus on areas related to production, procurement and marketing of farm products.
State finance minister Himanta Biswa Sarma in his speech urged the banks to show leadership in overcoming the present economic crisis and work with a focus on realizing the vision of Atmanirbhar Bharat and Atmanirbhar Assam.
Underlining various aspects of the economic package, Sarma said that from now on MSMEs are entitled to liquidity without guarantee and hence the banks should aggressively lend money to boost capital flow in the market.
He further said that there is much scope for expansion of KCC loan today with opening the door for inclusion of dairy, piggery etc., and advised the banks to develop modality for lending KCC loan to this sector as well.
He also informed that the committee to be formed by the state government to oversee implementation of the economic package would be a favourable platform to sort out all issues faced by the borrowers and bankers.
He further said that the state government would introduce three awards to recognize the best performing banks on PM’s economic package based on reports of an independent evaluator.
Representing the banking institutions, CGM SBI NE Circle Sunil Tandon, CGM NABARD SS Saha, Managing Director & CEO of North East Small Finance Bank Rupali Kalita and officials of Bank of India and Indian Bank made several suggestions for effective implementation of the PM’s economic stimulus package.
Principal Secretary of Finance Department Sameer Sinha in the meeting made a detail presentation on different aspects of the package and highlighted the role that banks could play as an intermediary in implementing the package.