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PSBs need govt support for viability of social schemes: SBI

The remarks from the chief of country’s largest lender comes a day after Reserve Bank Governor Raghuram Rajan stressed on the need to compensate PSBs to maintain a level playing field as many of the private sector banks do not get pinched by such measures.

PSBs need govt support for viability of social schemes: SBI

SBI chief Arundhathi Bhattacharya on Friday said the government needs to think about “ways and means” to sustain social security schemes like Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana in the long run and compensate public sector banks (PSBs) to make such initiatives commercially viable.

“The government wants that it (PMJDY) should be a sustainable kind of initiative… that we should not do it and then allow it to die because it is not commercially viable. So obviously, the government will have to think of ways and means to ensure that these accounts, once they come in, become commercially viable accounts,” she told reporters.

“We are already working on it with the government. I don’t think the government intends not to give anything. But we are working on what it should be,” she added.

The remarks from the chief of country’s largest lender comes a day after Reserve Bank Governor Raghuram Rajan stressed on the need to compensate PSBs to maintain a level playing field as many of the private sector banks do not get pinched by such measures.

“We should recognise that PSBs undertake public interest activities (like the roll-out of accounts under PMJDY) that are not always fully compensated. Government should endeavour to keep the competitive playing field level by fully compensating banks for activities it wants to undertake in the public interest,” Rajan wrote in the Overview section of RBI’s annual report.

The government launched PMJDY on August 28, 2014, for extending formal financial services to the excluded population. As of June 30, 2015, nearly 165.7 million PMJDY accounts have been opened.


Bhattacharya said the bank is looking at compensation such as a hike in commissions for transferring subsidy under the Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) scheme.

SBI stock price

On August 28, 2015, State Bank of India closed at Rs 249.25, down Rs 0.2, or 0.08 percent. The 52-week high of the share was Rs 335.90 and the 52-week low was Rs 234.52.

The company’s trailing 12-month (TTM) EPS was at Rs 17.77 per share as per the quarter ended June 2015. The stock’s price-to-earnings (P/E) ratio was 14.03. The latest book value of the company is Rs 169.77 per share. At current value, the price-to-book value of the company is 1.47.