India’s banking sector currently faces some stress mainly due to “stalling” of projects between 2011-2013 and efforts are being made to ensure the “de-bottlenecking” of these projects, State Bank of India (SBI) Chairman Arundhati Bhattacharya said.
“The banking sector (in India) faces some amount of stress at this point of time mainly because of the kind of stalling of projects that we saw happen between 2011-2013. Currently we are trying our level best to ensure the de-bottlenecking of all of these projects that got stalled. Some amount of that has been done and a lot still needs to be done,” Bhattacharya, 60, said.
There is “obviously” an issue in respect of more and more capital requirement for the banking sector itself and “we are working on various means of ensuring that the banking sector itself is strengthened,” she said on Tuesday at a conversation organised by the Consulate General of India in association with SBI and the Indus Entrepreneurs on India- Changing Economic Landscape – Opportunities and Challenges’.
Bhattacharya, who had met investors and rating agencies during her visit to the city, said the macro-economic parameters in the country are “very good”, saying the fiscal deficit is well contained.
She pointed out that inflation is “quite well-contained” and India should be well within the “glide path” set by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) for the Consumer Price Index (CPI) inflation to be five per cent or less by January 2017.
“We think we will get there,” Bhattacharya said, adding that there had been a recent uptick in CPI but that was mainly on account of vegetable and pulses and the core CPI is actually showing a constant downtrend.
She said the interest rates are also coming off from their historical highs and “currently they are quite low but may be not low enough to really kick start a lot of investments”.