New Delhi: Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee will meet heads of public sector banks on Wednesday to impress upon them the need to further moderate interest rates and also increase availability of credit to industry, suffering from the impact of the global downturn.
The broad agenda of the meeting include review of interest rates, credit growth and agriculture credit, official sources said.
The meeting will also dwell upon infrastructure lending, capital adequacy over medium term and housing and education loans, they added.
Last month after assuming charge, the finance minister had said he will ask banks for a “benign plan of action.”
“Industry and business have been hurt by the cost of finance... the cost and the speed with which finance can be accessed remains a matter of concern,” Mukherjee said.
“One of the first steps I propose to take is to meet bankers and get them committed to a more benign plan of action,” he had said.
The bankers meeting with the finance minister would also assess the impact of the three stimulus packages announced by the last UPA government.
The meeting will also take stock of the annual financial performance of the PSU banks and financial institutions.
Budget expected on 3 July
The finance minister is expected to present the 2009-10 budget on 3 July, an official said on Tuesday.
“Parliament’s budget session is proposed from 29 June to 7 August and the budget could be presented on 3 July,” an official in the parliamentary affairs ministry, who did not wish to be named, told reporters.
He said the Economic Survey, an annual report on the state of economy, was likely to be presented on 2 July and the railways’ budget on 1 July.
The proposed dates need to cleared by the cabinet and notified by the President’s office, he said.
The government presented an interim budget for the 2009-10 (April-March) year in February ahead of national elections in April and May.