New Delhi: Set to present the Union Budget on July 5, Union Minister of Finance & Corporate Affairs Nirmala Sitharaman held a pre-budget meeting with the stakeholders from the financial sector and capital markets on Thursday.
In this meeting, Sitharaman’s third pre-budget consultation, the areas of discussion included issues relating to the capital markets, financial sector, non-banking financial companies (NBFCs) and alternative investment funds (AIFs).
Along with Sitharaman, the meeting was also attended by MoS Anurag Thakur and Finance Secretary Subhash C. Garg among other top ministry officials.
During the meeting, representatives of the financial sector and capital markets are reported to have made several suggestions regarding infusion of capital in regional banks, an enhanced role of the Financial Sector Development Council.
According to a PIB note, the need to distinguish between solvency, governance and liquidity issues was mentioned along with the creation of a dedicated liquidity window for NBFC sector, review of interest rates on government’s small savings schemes, review of banking NPAs provisions through a committee, enhancing financial literacy programmes and funding, incentivising agricultural marketing among other suggestions.
Among the major stakeholders of the financial sector and capital markets who were present at the meeting were RBI Deputy Governor N S Vishwanathan, SBI Chairman Rajnish Kumar and PNB and Indian Banks’ Association Chairman Sunil Mehta.
In this budget, Sitharaman is expected to address slowing economy, financial sector troubles like rising non-performing assets (NPAs) and liquidity crisis in Non-Banking Financial Companies (NBFCs), job creation and private investments.
Sitharaman had begun a series of pre-budget consultations a couple of days ago, starting with one with farm bodies and agricultural experts on June 11. She has also met members of the Prime Minister’s Economic Advisory Council (PMEAC) for their views on the state of the economy and the way forward. North Block, which houses the Finance Ministry, has been ‘quarantined’ or out of bounds for visitors and media from this Monday.