New Delhi: Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, who is on a two-day visit to Mumbai, will undertake an annual performance review of public sector banks (PSBs) on Wednesday. It is her first visit since the outbreak of the Covid-19 and comes amid the need to focus on aiding the recovery due to high inflation.
In this visit, Sitharaman will also launch EASE 4.0 (Enhanced Access and Service Excellence). Launched in January 2018, Ease is the common reform agenda for all public sector banks (PSBs) aimed at institutionalising clean and smart banking.
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The Finance Minister will be interacting with heads of PSBs on August 25 to review the financial performance of the lenders and progress made by them to support the economy battered by the Covid-19 pandemic.
The FM is expected to declare the results of the Ease 3.0 Index for 2020-21, and PSBs would be rated on various indexes for the year, as per PTI.
What’s EASE 4.0 aimed at?
Focussed on six main aspects, Ease 4.0 will lay emphasis on customer responsiveness, responsible banking, PSBs as Udyami Mitra, credit off takes, deepening financial inclusion, and digitalisation besides developing personnel for brand PSB. The principal framework of the reform remains “Responsive and Responsible PSBs”.
It is part of the reforms agenda based on the recommendations made at the PSB Manthan held in 2017 that involves senior management of PSBs and representatives from the government.
EASE 3.0 was launched in February 2020, looking to enhance ease of banking in all customer experiences, using technology, alternate data, and analytics.
Under Ease 4.0, PSBs will be focusing on introducing and promoting new analytics-based offers to existing retail customers like pre-approved car loans, EMI offers on e-commerce purchases, and also for existing MSME customers.
Under the reform agenda, banks will leverage partnerships with third parties, including agritech firms, and work towards automating the processing and sanction of agricultural loans based on a field visit, borrower interaction, and risk assessment in states with digitised land records.
For the co-lending model with non-banking finance companies, banks will have 80 percent exposure, while NBFCs will provide customer service and grievance redressal.
(With inputs from PTI)
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