New Delhi: At a time when the deadly coronavirus has claimed more than 2,000 lives in China, Union Finance Minister Normala Sitharaman on Wednesday said the Central government is keeping a close watch on it for its impact on Indian economy. She also went on to say that various options are being gauged at various levels to assess its impact as well. Also Read - ‘Govt Reviews Coronavirus Impact on Industry, no Concern Over Price Rise,' Assures Sitharaman
“The Central government is very closely monitoring the impact of the coronavirus outbreak on the economy. Secretary-level officials are engaging with their respective industries. I had informed you about various options we have including airlifting raw material for some specific sectors, resourcing from other countries,” she said. Also Read - No Timeline to Remove Income Tax Exemptions, Says Finance Minister Sitharaman
The Finance Minister also stated that these options are being explored at the concerned department level. “We will have quick review of all departments coming back with specific help that they may require. We will collate all these and come back to you,” Sitharaman further added. Also Read - 'Open to Tweaking Inside And Outside Budget For Economic Growth', Says Nirmala Sitharaman
The statement from the finance minister comes after 2,700 people have died due to novel coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) while the number of those infected is around 80,000.
Talking about the process of merger of public sector banks, Sitharaman said that the process is already underway as per the schedule and the government has already announced to merge 10 state-run banks to create four big lenders. “There is no uncertainty about bank merger and the process is on as per the schedule,” she added further.
The development comes after the Central government last year announced merging 10 public sector banks into four.
As per the announcement, United Bank of India and Oriental Bank of Commerce will be merged with Punjab National Bank, making the proposed entity the second largest public sector bank (PSB) from April 1 this year.
And moreover, Syndicate Bank will be merged with Canara Bank, and Allahabad Bank will be merged with Indian Bank. In the similar manner, Andhra Bank and Corporation Bank will be consolidated with Union Bank of India.