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Sitharaman announces relief for MSMEs, urges banks to increase public lending

By Shreya

New Delhi, Sep 19: Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Thursday said that the government is reviewing health of public sector banks.

Nirmala Sitharaman

Addressing a press conference, the Finance Minister said the government has reviewed the liquidity situation with banks and they have identified some NBFCs that they can lend to.

To boost liquidity in the system, Sitharaman aid Banks will organise credit "Shamiana meetings" for customers and NBFC across 400 districts in the next 25 days.

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"These open house meetings in 200 districts in the country till September 29. She also announced that similar meeting will be organised in the next 200 districts from October 1 to October 15," she said.

MoS for Finance Anurag Thakur will look after this scheme, she added.

Sitharaman said the idea is to ensure maximum credit disbursal during the festive season. Diwali, which falls in October this year, is considered as the biggest shopping season of the country.

She also announced that banks won't declare any new NPA for MSME loans till March 2020.

The finance minister also urged banks to increase lending to medium and small-scale enterprises, which are considered the backbone of multiple Indian sectors.

Many small-scale businesses have had to shut shop or incur huge losses after India's shadow banking sector or NBFCs were hit by a liquidity crisis in 2018.

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