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'No need to panic on draft infra guidelines'

May 24, 2024 16:37 IST

'It's a debatable topic, and we will submit our comments to the RBI by June 15.'

IMAGE: Text. Photograph: ANI Photo

The draft guidelines of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on infrastructure financing will not pose a challenge to the banking sector, managing director and chief executive officer of Punjab National Bank (PNB) Atul Kumar Goel, said in a virtual interview with Harsh Kumar/Business Standard.

Goel spoke on the public sector lender's latest quarterly results and its expansion plans.


What are your views on RBI's infrastructure financing draft guidelines?

As far as the business impact is concerned, I do not see any challenge.

It is a draft guideline and we should wait for the final version.

RBI issued these guidelines as consultative advice from stakeholders, including banks and promoters.

From the regulator's point of view, it aims to address the risk perception, usher in discipline to project financing, and ensure timely project completion.

There is also an increased requirement for provisions. This will be discussed in the IBA (Indian Banking Association) with the consensus of all bankers.

It's a debatable topic, and we will submit our comments to the RBI by June 15. So, I think there is no need to panic..

What is PNB's growth outlook for the current financial year?

Our guidance for the next financial year, FY24-25, is an actual growth of 11.2 per cent for PNB.

We aim to achieve this by focusing on RAM -- retail, agriculture, and MSME.

Currently, RAM accounts for around 55 per cent of our total book, which we aim to increase to 60 per cent over the next 2-3 years.

For FY24-25, our target is to achieve 57 per cent RAM and 43 per cent corporate financing..

How is PNB going to bolster digital infrastructure?

Over the past year, the bank has focused on digital and HR transformation, engaging top consultants in the industry.

This has strengthened our systems for cybersecurity. We are also expanding physically and plan to open 150 branches this year..

What are your views on PNB's Casa (Current Account Saving Account) for this financial year?

My Casa stands at around 41 per cent.

Although it's challenging to increase this percentage due to the wide gap in the interest rates between fixed and savings deposits, we aim to increase it to 41.4 to 42 per cent.

Last year, we opened more than 1 lakh savings accounts and over 2.48 lakh current accounts, focusing on improving our customer service because Casa is a product of good customer service.

Feature Presentation: Aslam Hunani/

Harsh Kumar
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