Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal Wednesday urged the public and private sector banks of the state to devise a standard operating plan to maximize credit flow to MSMEs and other distressed sectors.
The state government would constitute a committee with representation of bank officials to oversee implementation of the economic package and to ensure that all affected sectors get optimum benefits, he said while chairing a special State Level Bankers Committee (SLBC) meeting with bank officials to ensure proper implementation of the COVID-19 economic stimulus package announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
"The economic stimulus package is a historic announcement by the Prime Minister and the banks must seize this opportunity to rejuvenate the battered economy, he said.
The MSME sector is one of the core areas of the state's economy and banks must reach out to the entrepreneurs, he said. Sonowal suggested that the banks should come out with standard operating plans to ensure maximum disbursal of loans so that there is more liquidity in the market.
He urged them to convene meetings with all stakeholders to negate the possibility of the loans turning into bad loans.
"The coronavirus pandemic had been an eye opener in terms of strengths and weaknesses in the state's economic sector and it was time to capitalize the learning to boost the economy, he said. The economic package brings much hope for the agri and allied sectors and banks must pump in more money to build agricultural infrastructure and focus on areas related to production, procurement and marketing of farm products, the chief minister said.
Finance Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma also urged the banks to show leadership in overcoming the present economic crisis and work with a focus on realizing the vision of Atmanirbhar Bharat and Atmanirbhar Assam.
The MSMEs are now entitled for liquidity without guarantee and hence the banks should aggressively lend money to boost capital flow in the market, he said. The committee to be formed by the Government to oversee implementation of the economic package would be a favourable platform to sort out all issues faced by the borrowers and bankers, he said.
The state government would introduce three awards to recognize the best performing banks on PM's economic package based on reports of an independent evaluator. The meeting was also attended by Industry Minister Chandra Mohan Patowary, Agriculture Minister Atul Bora, senior government and bank officials.
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