The government has taken note of the distress signals from the different sectors of the economy and wants to initiate remedial measures without much loss of time. At least that was the impression the Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman tried to convey when she met with some bankers on Monday. She is now set to hold many such meetings in the coming days after which the government reportedly wants to come up with solutions to tackle issues plaguing individual sectors.
As per a Mint report, bankers she met on Monday included the Chief Executives of State Bank of India (SBI), ICICI Bank, Axis Bank, Punjab National Bank and Kotak Mahindra Bank and a few others. The meeting was also attended by the Minister of State, Anurag Thakur, one of the Deputy Governors of RBI and a host of officials from the ministry of finance. It is learnt that the subjects deliberated upon in this meeting included the credit requirements of NBFCs, focus sectors like automobiles etc. The government also reportedly asked banks to ensure the interest cuts announced by the RBI are passed on to the borrowers.
Some of the sectors the minister proposes to meet over the next few days include FPIs, automakers, industry associations, financial markets, MSMEs, and real estate. The idea is to listen to these industry sectors directly to understand the problems they are facing and if they have any suggestions on areas, they think the government can intervene.
As mentioned, the FM has told the journalists that the government will not waste time after these meetings are over to formulate the action plan to address the issues raised. It may not be feasible for the government to perform a miracle to save some industries.
The minister has not disclosed details on the plans for external borrowings in foreign currency as announced in the budget.
The falling rates of GDP growth below 6% is a concern for the government. It would be looking to quickly find ways to arrest this slide and see if growth can be brought back to the higher levels it had reached in the past couple of years. Otherwise, the goal of a $5 trillion economy may go out of reach.