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Finance Minister introduces EASE 4.0 for PSB’s tech transformation

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Wednesday. unveiled the fourth edition. of the public sector bank reforms with a focus on deepening the customer-centric digital transformation of these lenders.

With mobile and internet banking gaining currency amidst the pandemic, EASE 4.0 commits PSBS to tech-enabled, simplified, and collaborative 24x7 banking.

"We reviewed the annual performance of public sector banks and also the implementation of announcements of various Covid-19 related packages, the Finance Minister said, wrapping up her two-day visit to Mumbai.

Improved performance

An official release noted that PSBS has recorded phenomenal growth in their performance over four quarters since the launch of EASE 3.0 Reforms Agenda in February 2020.

"Collectively, public sector banks have done well, come out of PCA norms and shown profits. They are in a position to go to the market to raise funds," she noted. Debasish Panda, Secretary, Department of Financial Services said banks are in the process of raising about Rs. 12,000 crore from the markets this fiscal.

Managing to raise funds

"Their performance helped them raise Rs. 69,000 crore from the market last year, including Rs. 10,000 crore of equity capital," he said, adding that the PSBS are able to take care of their capital requirements now. Banks are also set to start a credit outreach programme later this year where they would go to every district, Sitharaman said.

Further, banks have been asked to interact with export promotion agencies and industry/commerce bodies to help address the requirements of exporters and also look at providing support to sunrise sectors as well as fintech.

Support to fintech

"From inputs given by officers from tax administration, it has emerged that banks need to understand the special requirements of sunrise sectors. Fintech is one such sector that can provide technical help to banks and also benefit from the banking sector," she noted

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