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High Demand for Home Loans, Especially in Affordable Housing Segment, Says SBI Chairperson

When asked about the current economic slowdown in the country, Kumar said that the BJP-led government is aware of the situation and taking steps to correct it.


Updated:September 3, 2019, 6:35 PM IST
High Demand for Home Loans, Especially in Affordable Housing Segment, Says SBI Chairperson
State Bank of India (SBI) Chairman Rajnish Kumar speaks at an event in Mumbai. (Image: Reuters)

New Delhi: State Bank of India (SBI) chairperson Rajnish Kumar on Tuesday said there is a high demand for home loans, especially in the affordable housing segment.

“For home loans, the growth is very good. SBI is still growing at 18%,” Kumar told CNBC-TV18 in an interview, adding that home prices have come down and inventory is being cleared.

When asked about the current economic slowdown in the country, Kumar said that the BJP-led government is aware of the situation. "If I look at the flurry of activity which is happening, as of now, even in the government, that means that Centre is fully aware of the situation and there is a sincere effort to correct the situation wherever they can intervene," he said.

"Our economy, if you look at it, the demographics have not undergone a change. In many countries, demographics itself becomes an issue for reviving the economy. So, we are not in that situation. India remains an aspirational country,” he said.

Kumar said that the slowdown in the automobile sector is more pronounced than that in other sectors.

The moves include the consolidation of major public sector banks as well as other measures recently announced by Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman. Last week, she announced a series of mergers involving 10 state-owned banks as the government moves to strengthen a sector struggling under a mountain of debt and ensure stronger balance sheets to boost lending and revive economic growth.

Sitharaman also unveiled governance reforms in public sector banks, saying their boards will be given autonomy and enabled to do succession planning. Bank boards will be also given flexibility to fix sitting fee of independent directors, she said, adding that non-official directors will perform role analogous to independent directors.

Sitharaman earlier had unveiled the first of three planned stimulus packages that included a reduction of taxes, improvement of liquidity in the banking sector (formal and shadow), increased government spending on auto and infrastructure, and accelerated refunds of goods and services tax (GST).

But the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) on Monday sought immediate steps from the government, including a reduction in GST rates and initiation of scrappage policy, as sales continued to plummet with passenger vehicle makers witnessing a decline of 30% offtake in August. The auto sector body said even the commercial vehicle and two-wheeler sales are significantly negative indicating that the market has still not responded to the various measures initiated by Sitharaman last month.

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