Finance Minister Arun Jaitley is confident that State Bank of India stands to gain a lot under the government's public sector consolidation framework. SBI will be a global player, controlling 25 percent of the Indian banking industry, after the merger with its associate and subsidiary units, Jaitley said
In March 2016, SBI had announced its merger with its five associate or subsidiary banks and Bharatiya Mahila Bank (BMB) after the government gave its green light for the merger.
On Friday in a post-earnings conference, SBI chief Arundhati Bhattacharya said: “We are quite ready and as soon as the government notifies the final order, we will be ready to kick it off. We were planning to do it by March but again because of demonetisaton it will probably mean a deferment of a quarter.”
According to Finance Minister growth is always an underlying consideration of RBI and post demonetisation, banks have cut rates significantly.
Speaking on RBI's decision to remain status quo on its interest rate, Jaitley said a finance minister would always love to see a rate cut. He added there is no concern about inflation at present.
Responding to a question about Index of Industrial Production (IIP) numbers for December turning out to be negative Jaitley responded that November and December cannot be a representative for the whole year.
December was much more challenging as old currency notes were banished completely in December as opposed to November when Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes could still be used for essential services, he said. December witnessed initial stages of remonetisation and saw an integration taking place between informal and formal economies, said the Finance Minister adding that he expects to see greater expansion of formal economy post-December.
“It is better to suggest realistic Budget estimates and then beat them, rather than cutting expenditure to beat my fiscal figures,”