PSBs sanctioned Rs 5.66 lakh cr loans during Mar-Apr: FM

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Thursday said public sector banks (PSBs) sanctioned loans worth Rs 5.66 lakh crore to borrowers during March and April, and disbursement will start soon after the lockdown is lifted, leading to economic recovery.

In a series of tweets, the minister also said that as many as 3.2 crore borrowers have taken advantage of the three-month moratorium scheme on repayment of loans announced by the Reserve Bank to help people tide over the problems created on account of disruption in business activities due to lockdown.

The central government had imposed a 21-day lockdown from March 25 to check the spread of coronavirus.

The lockdown has been extended twice, though with some relaxations.

“During March-April 2020, PSBs sanctioned loans worth Rs 5.66 lakh cr for more than 41.81 lakh accounts. These borrowers are from MSME, Retail, Agriculture & Corporate sectors, waiting for disbursal soon after #lockdown lifts. Economy poised to recover!,” Sitharaman said in a tweet.

She further said that state-owned banks implemented the moratorium announced by the RBI on repayment of loans.

“PSBs complemented RBI on loan moratorium. Their effective communication & proactive actions ensured that over 3.2 cr. a/c availed 3-month moratorium. Quick query redressals allayed customer concerns. Ensuring responsible banking amid #lockdown,” she said.

Sitharaman also said that PSBs sanctioned loans worth Rs 77,383 crore between March 1 and May 4 to provide sustained credit flow to NBFCs and housing finance companies.

Besides, under Targeted Long Term Repo Operations (TLTROs), total financing of Rs 1.08 lakh crore was extended, “ensuring business stability and continuity going forward”, she added.

For micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) and others, pre-approved emergency credit lines and working capital enhancements are being prioritised by PSBs.

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“…More than 27 lakh customers contacted from March 20 and 2.37 lakh cases sanctioned loans worth Rs. 26,500 cr. A work in progress,” she said in another tweet.

With the spread of coronavirus and subsequent lockdown, economic activities have been affected significantly.

The government as well as the Reserve Bank of India have taken a slew of measures to deal with the situation.

In order to ensure that weaker sections of society “continue to get basic amenities and do not get impacted” during the lockdown period, Rs 1.70 lakh crore Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Package (PMGKP) was announced by the Finance Minister on March 26.

The government has also been providing cash transfers to Jan Dhan accounts held by women.

The RBI on its part has sharply reduced the key short-term lending rate with an aim to spur credit disbursement.

It also announced a Rs 50,000 crore special liquidity facility for mutual fund sector in wake of redemption pressures related to closure of some debt mutual funds, and potential contagious effects therefrom.

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