//PM wants credit gap bridged

PM wants credit gap bridged

Statesman News Service

BANGALORE/NEW DELHI, June 23: Prime Minister Mr Manmohan Singh today urged the public sector banks to bridge the credit gaps in rural areas through micro finance, micro insurance and new delivery channels.

He asked the finance ministry to set up a group of representatives from the RBI, Nabard and major commercials banks to formulate policies for promoting such measures.

Addressing the centenary celebrations of Canara Bank here, he also urged the PSUs to examine ways to consolidate to take on foreign banks in the country besides increasing their presence abroad. According to him, domestic banks are smaller in size when compared to the foreign banks. The Indian banking system, he said ,would have to respond appropriately so that they can devise global strategies for improving their international services.

This was earlier emphasised by finance minister, Mr P Chidambaram, who urged Indian banks to become global in their operations and size. Likewise, he said the banks were obliged to ensure that no Indian was denied credit. Growth also obliged the banks to help those less favoured or marginalised.

Dr Singh, on his part, said the banking system needed to prepare itself to deal with the opportunities of higher growth. In dealing with the needs of rural enterprises and of small and medium enterprises in urban areas, the banks, he said, had to look for new delivery mechanisms adding that the banking sector had to extend financial services to all sections of society. About farm credit, both Dr Singh and Mr Chidambaram said that this was of major concern and there were vast uncovered gaps.

Message to civil servants

Marking the occasion of World Public Service Day, Dr Singh, sent out a message to the country’s civil servants to ensure that the decision-making process is transparent and that government spending did not give rise to corruption.