State Bank of India (SBI) Chairman Dinesh Kumar Khara on Sunday said the Indian economy would recover in the current financial year. His statement comes at a time when the nation is recovering from the second wave of COVID-19 pandemic which had brought economic activities in the country to a standstill.
Addressing the 66th Annual General Meeting (AGM) of SBI, Khara said the pandemic has caused immense loss of livelihood and lives, according to news agency IANS.
India's GDP contracted by 7.3 per cent in FY21, and the nation witnessed a second wave of COVID-19 pandemic with cases rising exponentially during March-May period.
Khara noted that during these difficult times, the policy measures and efforts of the Central government and RBI were aimed at enabling growth on a sustainable basis. "Notwithstanding the second wave of COVID-19, Indian economy, through its resilience, is poised for a recovery in FY2022," Khara told SBI shareholders.
Talking about the performance of SBI during the previous fiscal, he said despite challenges, the bank was able to function with minimal disruptions for its customers.
"The business continuity plans that were chalked out have worked well for the bank and this is reflected in various parameters of the bank's performance in FY 2021," Khara was quoted as saying.
"Notably, the bank has achieved high level of digitisation, with share of alternate channels in total transactions increasing to 93 per cent in FY2021, thereby converting a challenging situation into an opportunity," Khara said.
He said SBI will continue to work towards its digital goals in FY22 and expand the reach and scope of YONO, SBI's digital banking platform.
"With the rollout of pre-package insolvency for resolution, resumption of courts and formation of National Asset Reconstruction Company, efforts will be in full force to keep the momentum in stressed asset recovery in the current financial year," he added.
Saying that SBI is in a comfortable position in terms of growth capital, Khara said the bank will explore opportunities for lending in promising sectors in order to diversify its portfolio.
"In conclusion, the bank adjusted to the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic and is better positioned to tackle any subsequent wave. I am cautiously optimistic that the performance trajectory of FY2021 will continue in FY2022 as well," noted Khara.
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