MUMBAI: Minister for Finance, Dr Haseeb Drabu called on the RBI Governor, Dr Urjit Patel here today to discuss the issues of business, trade and industry loans in Jammu and Kashmir which have come under tremendous stress because of various reasons including 2014 floods and the civil strife of 2016. He also raised with the RBI Governor the issues regarding J&K Bank.
During the hour-long meeting, Dr Drabu emphasized that it was not a credit-quality issue as in other parts of the country, but the non-cuisines environment that has resulted in the impairment of loans in J&K. “The state’s trade, businesses and industry need a larger structured package to get back into profitable operations and mere restructuring of loans won’t help resolve the crisis at this juncture,” Dr Drabu told the RBI Governor.
Asked how his meeting with RBI Governor went, Dr Drabu said the Governor was very understanding of the issues and the distress confronting the businesses and the industry in J&K. “RBI Governor promised to personally examine all the issues including that of the J&K Bank,” he said and added that the Governor was comforted by the fact that the State Government has a majority stake in J&K bank and that gives some leeway to find a creative solution to its problems.
He said once the RBI examines the full contours of the NPAs and the restructured assets, it will work out a plan of action for J&K Bank in consultation with the State Government.
Dr Drabu also sought the intervention of the RBI Governor in improving the credit-deposit ratio of various banks in the State. He said enhanced lending in core sectors will help support the State Government’s efforts to rebuild J&K’s distressed economy.
The Finance Minister also discussed in detail the issue of starting innovative schemes for financing Self Help Groups (SHGs) so that the people at the grassroots level benefit from such initiatives.
The Finance Minister thanked the RBI Governor for his highly positive approach and understanding of the issues concerning J&K.