State-run banks to involve branches over growth goals
The exercise was carried out over the weekend, as directed by the ministry.
Parameters these lenders are using to ascertain their operational performance are improvement in credit delivery, standards of underwriting, enhancement of financial inclusion, and increase in digital payments.
“This is the first time we have taken such an initiative. The broader theme is how to motivate branch-level employees to align them with national priorities and how banks can contribute to make India a $5-trillion economy,” State Bank of India chairman Rajnish Kumar said. The exercise was carried out over the weekend, as directed by the ministry. It was a busy working Sunday for all top bank executives.
The exercise covers eight thematic papers on issues as diverse and complex as digital payments, corporate governance in PSBs, MSME credit, technology usage and retail lending.
“The consultation process is aimed at stimulating ideas and inculcating a sense of involvement among bankers, down to the branch level,” a note from the ministry said.
Finance ministry has listed credit support for the economy as the biggest national priority, followed by credit for infrastructure and doubling of farmers’ income. Home loans, education loans and export credit are also listed as priorities, while schemes related to Swachh Bharat, women empowerment, Stand-up India, and financial inclusion also featured on the agenda.
SBI said that it conducted these regional level meetings across its 22,000 branches. The suggestions coming from all the branches would then be compiled by the individual banks and then these would be presented at the respective state level bankers’ committee meeting set to be conducted next Friday and Saturday. These banks will make a consolidated presentation of their findings to the finance ministry in September. “With the economy at an inflexion point, policy decisions taken now will define the future of banking and its contribution to economic growth. This bottom-up consultative process will provide a platform for field personnel to represent and bring forward the grassroots-level challenges in their respective areas,” said Rajkiran Rai, managing director at Union Bank of India.