Govt will assist sectors hit by economic slowdown: P Chidambaram

Govt will assist sectors hit by economic slowdown: P Chidambaram

BT Online Bureau   New Delhi     Last Updated: November 15, 2012  | 18:55 IST

Finance Minister P Chidambaram on Thursday said the government is open to handholding stressed sectors and will work out a strategy to assist industry segments reeling under the impact of economic slowdown.

The finance minister also said the government would soon finalise capital infusion for PSU banks and the beneficiaries would include Indian Overseas Bank, Central Bank of India and Bank of Maharashtra.

"If the economy improves and growth improves, the sectors (which are not doing well) will recover. But in the meanwhile we will have to do some handholding and try to help these sectors recover", he said while addressing a press conference after meeting the heads of public sector banks in New Delhi.

"The government will have to look at rising Non-Performing Assets (NPAs) sector wise and find ways and means to help them," Chidambaram said, adding "NPA is reflection of the slowdown in the economy".

NPAs of the public sector banking group has increased by 0.98 per cent in the one-year period ending September 2012 mainly on account of the stress being faced in sectors like infrastructure, steel, construction, textile, food process and telecom infrastructure, he said.

The government had proposed to inject Rs 15,000 crore of capital in the PSU banks.

On the positive side, Chidambaram said housing and automobile sectors have been doing well on back of decline in EMIs.

Referring to the issue of new banking licences, Chidambaram said he had written to the Reserve Bank of India to initiate the process of issuing guidelines and start accepting the licences pending approval of the Banking Regulation Amendment Act by Parliament.

With inputs from PTI

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