Over Rs 81,700 Cr disbursed by banks during 9-day loan mela, says Finance Ministry

Nirmala Sitharaman

The Finance Ministry on Monday said loans worth Rs 81,781 crore were disbursed during the nine-day outreach programme or loan mela organised by banks that began on October 1.

Finance Secretary Rajeev Kumar said:

“Rs 81,781 crore was disbursed in the outreach programme. Of these, new loans accounted for Rs 34,342 crore.”

Further, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said the banks have sufficient liquidity, and efforts are being made to ensure that due payments are released to the micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME) sector by large corporates.

In order to ensure liquidity for small businesses, Sitharaman said that banks have been asked to provide bill discounting facility to the MSME sector against payments due from the large corporates.

According to returns filed by the large corporates to the Ministry of Corporate Affairs, as much as Rs 40,000 crore is due to the MSME sector, she said adding that all efforts would be made to ensure that MSMEs get their dues ahead of Diwali.

Earlier this month, the government announced the first phase of the loan mela would begin in 250 districts across the country to meet demand during the festival period.

In a bid to boost lending, the government in September 2019 had asked public sector banks to hold loan melas in 400 districts to lend to desirable shadow banks and retail borrowers.

During the four days beginning October 3, loans were sanctioned for retail, agriculture, vehicle, home, MSME, education, and personal categories on the spot.

All banks, including State Bank of India (SBI), Punjab National Bank (PNB), Bank of Baroda (BoB), and Corporation Bank, have geared themselves up to take advantage of festival season demand.

SBI is the lead banker in 48 districts across the country, and BoB is the lead banker in 17 out of 250 districts in the first phase.

Simultaneously, it is holding Baroda Kisan Pakhwada during which most of its branches would focus on promoting farm loans, BoB said in a statement.