New Delhi, (PTI) Attaching highest priority to the health of public sector banks, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley today said India is not ready for their privatisation and the present characteristics of PSU banks will continue except for IDBI Bank.
"We are trying to consolidate some of the banks, which may otherwise find it difficult in a competitive environment... in one case we are thinking of reducing the government stake to 49 per cent in IDBI Bank," the minister said here at the Economist India Summit.
Jaitley added that in a consolidated manner they would probably continue to be in the present state.
"But I think India still realises that there has been a very important role that some of these banks have performed," he said.
Asked why privatisation in financial space is not taking place, he said, "In order to reach a particular level of reform you have to evolve into that stage of public opinion... in funding large part of social sector in India, public sector banks, despite competition had a far larger contribution."
According to Jaitley, the public or political opinion is still to converge to a point where one can start thinking in terms of any form of privatisation in the sector.
"Some selective reforms do take place, for instance, we have announced a policy that government holdings (in banks) to be brought down to 52 per cent," he added.
On stressed assets, the finance minister said the Centre has initiated a large number of steps to reduce NPAs.
"There is not a single sector that we have left out in terms of resolving issues... if you were to ask me after the passage and may be possible implementation of GST, while that process is on what would be my priority at the moment, it is certainly the health of public sector banks," he said.
He also hinted that the government is ready to provide an additional capital over the Rs 25,000-crore amount announced in the Budget.
"This is over and above whatever assistance from the Budget we are giving towards the capitalisation of banks," he said.
Disclaimer: Please write your correct name and email address. Kindly do not post any personal, abusive, defamatory, infringing, obscene, indecent, discriminatory or unlawful or similar comments. canaranews.com will not be responsible for any defamatory message posted under this article.
Please note that under 66A of the IT Act, sending offensive or menacing messages through electronic communication service and sending false messages to cheat, mislead or deceive people or to cause annoyance to them is punishable. It is obligatory on CANARANEWS to provide the IP address and other details of senders of such comments, to the authority concerned upon request.
Hence, sending offensive comments using canaranews will be purely at your own risk, and in no way will canaranews.com be held responsible.