Reviving investments a key challenge: Chidambaram
The Finance Minister says most of the country's economic problems can be solved if investment is revived.
New Delhi: Finance Minister P Chidambaram on Saturday said most of the country's economic problems will be solved once investment is revived.
"Reviving investments is a key challenge for us. (Investor) sentiment is not the only issue...sentiment will change with other issues...once we get the investment engine started, I think many of our problems can get resolved," Chidambaram said after meeting chiefs of public sector banks.
The Finance Minister reviewed the performance of public sector banks (PSBs) in the wake of the slowdown and concerns over rising bad loans.
"We had a very substantial agenda, which included agri credit, lending to minorities and state of health of the banking sector. Fuel supply grievances, land acquisition issues have also been discussed, which are inhibiting investments. I am going to discuss all these issues with the line ministries to push investments," he added while briefing the media about the meeting.
The minister said the Indian banking system is sound and there has been a marginal increase in non-performing assets (NPAs) which is not alarming.
"No banks in India have failed in terms of parameters in which we measure health in banks. All banks are in good health."
He also advised banks to focus on sectors which deserve credit and urged people to take to banking.
"Rs 11 lakh crore lies as cash in the hands of the people that should be in the banking system," the minister said, adding that banks have been advised to quickly enable ATM machines as not just cash disbursing machines but also cash accepting machines.