Bangalore: The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) deputy governor V. Leeladhar says credit growth of the country has been better than last year. ”The growth has been healthy so far, though retail lending dipped a bit,” Leeladhar said on the issue of higher interest rates hurting loan growth.
“The growth of advances is much better than what it was last year, something like 26%, against 20% that we have been projecting,” he added.
Meanwhile, the State Bank of India (SBI) chief O.P. Bhatt says the bank’s plans to merge with its seven associates would depend on how the merger proceedings with the State Bank of Saurashtra (SBS) go. “We will wait and see how the merger proceeds. We will take it from there,” Bhatt said.
Both the union cabinet and the finance ministry have approved the merger of SBS with SBI. Both Leeladhar and Bhatt were speaking to reporters after launching ‘SBI Hrudaya Suraksha Scheme’, an exclusive loan product for patients undergoing cardiac treatment at the Narayana Hrudayalaya health city.
Under the scheme, loans meeting upto 80% of the total medical expenditure or Rs50,000, whichever is lower, would be granted to patients at an interest rate of 8.5%. The borrower will repay the full amount with interest due within a maximum period of 6 months.
Targeting the poor and the lower middle class, the loans would be granted without any collaterals.
SBI said though the scheme has been initiated with provisions for loans for heart treatments, they would like to bring cancer and kidney diseases also under its purview soon.