Sitharaman to meet heads of banks today
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Saturday will hold a meeting with the heads of public sector banks to discuss various issues, including the recently announced government measures to prop up the economy, sources said.
The finance minister’s meeting with the chief executives and managing directors of banks ahead of the Union budget assumes significance in view of the critical role the banking sector plays in boosting consumer demand across sectors.
Sitharaman is expected to present her second budget on February 1, 2020.
According to sources, she will also review the budget announcement on the absorption of merchant discount rates (MDR) charges by banks and the overdraft facility to PM Jan Dhan Yojana account holders through RuPay debit cards.
The minister had proposed in the budget that business establishments with annual turnover of more than Rs 50 crore shall offer low-cost digital modes of payment to their customers and no charges or MDR shall be imposed on customers as well as merchants.
“The RBI and banks will absorb these costs from the savings that will accrue to them on account of handling less cash as people move to these digital modes of payment,” she had said in her budget speech in July.
A review of the online platform for auction of secured assets under the Sarfaesi Act is also on the agenda, sources said.