PM Modi to banks: Focus on bigger role in global business

NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday stressed upon the need for Indian banks to focus on playing a bigger role in global trade and supply chain, while seeking better financial and corporate governance. Inaugurating the finance ministry’s iconic week celebrations, where a platform for financial inclusion was unveiled for a dozen credit-linked government schemes, the PM said that it was now time to work on financial solutions for people around the world.

“Today, the world is looking at us not just as a big consumer market but looking at us with hope and confidence as a capable, game-changing, creative, innovative ecosystem,” Modi said. The comments on banks playing a bigger role internationally come at a time when the government is seeking to integrate Indian companies with global supply chain through local production of finished pro-ducts as well as suppliers of critical inputs, such as auto parts or semiconductors.

The government had adopted a strategy for merger of public sector banks to give them much-needed scale as even operations of SBI, the country’s largest lender, does not compare with global giants. The PM also launched a special series of coins with Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav design that will be visually impaired-friendly.

Modi listed his government’s financial inclusion initiatives as a key area of better delivery of benefits and argued that his administration had shifted the focus of policymaking from a government-centric approach to people-centric.

“The country has borne the brunt of government-centric governance in the past… it is our top priority and responsibility that we reach out to the public, to every eligible person, and ensure full benefits for him,” he said. While urging bankers to increase participation of people in the financial inclusion drive, the PM also said results can flow through proper focus and implementation of schemes.

“If the goal of any reform is clear and there is seriousness about its implementation, then its good results are sure to come. ”