Govt keeping close watch on PMC Bank issue: FM Sitharaman

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman says the government is keeping a close watch on the Punjab and Maharashtra Co-operative (PMC) Bank issue and is trying to ensure that depositors money is paid back. She was speaking to reporters after meeting heads of Public Sector Banks in New Delhi today.

Ms Sitharaman said the RBI has repeatedly assured that it will keep the interest of customers in mind and try to resolve the issue at the earliest. She said, whichever sector needs money, it will be given as per norms.

On the merger of banks, the Finance minister said everything is going smoothly. She said banks have sufficient liquidity and efforts are being made to ensure that due payments are released to Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) by large corporates. In order to ensure liquidity for small businesses, Ms Sitharaman said the banks have been asked to provide bill discounting facility to the MSME sector against payments due from large corporates.

According to returns filed by the large corporates to the Ministry of Corporate Affairs, as much as 40,000 crore rupees is due to the MSME sector. The Finance Minister said all efforts would be made to ensure that MSMEs get their dues ahead of Diwali.

Finance Secretary Rajeev Kumar said, loans worth 81,781 crore rupees were disbursed during the nine-day outreach programme or loan mela organised by banks that began on 1st October. Mr Kumar said, of these, new loans accounted for 34,342 crore rupees.

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