With the realisation that cooperation from banks and financial institutions is absolutely essential for the overall economic development of the state, West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee might attend a meeting of the State Level Banker’s Committee (SLBC), West Bengal, scheduled this month.
According to sources from the state finance department, the possibility of the chief minister attending the meeting of SLBC, West Bengal has become bright after a recent communication from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to the chief minister’s office, where the apex bank requested Banerjee to interact with the banking circle more intimately to achieve the desirable economic development of the state.
Although during the last one year, the SLBC, West Bengal, has invited the chief minister to be present in each of its meetings convened, not even once did Banerjee oblige by making her presence felt.
“Now it has become mandatory for the SLBCs of all states to invite the chief ministers of the states concerned in its meetings. As far as the information available with us, the chief ministers of all states, except West Bengal, have at least once made their presence felt in the SLBC meetings. In states like Maharashtra and Gujarat, the presence of the chief ministers of those states, had been more than once and regular.
“This time, since the apex bank has urged the West Bengal chief minister to be present, we are expecting her so that development issues of the state can be discussed openly and in details,” an associate of SLBC, West Bengal said.
Sources from the banking industry said the presence of the chief minister in the SLBC meeting has become extremely important in view of the three factors, namely, the declining credit to deposit ratio in the state, lack of big ticket investment limiting the scope of credit growth and finally hurdles faced by the banking industry in recovering the bad loans or the non performing assets (NPA).
During the financial year 2011-12, the credit to deposit ratio in West Bengal has declined to 64% from 65%, as compared to the national average of 74%.