‘Infra bonds could provide stable income to retired persons’

Union Finance Minister Piyush Goyal on Monday said he was keen to reignite long-term financing in the country and had floated the idea with a large bank.

“I am worried about long-term financing in India after the transformation of financial institutions like ICICI and IDBI into universal banks,” Mr. Goyal, who is looking after the Finance Ministry owing to the indisposition of Arun Jaitley, said at an Indian Chamber of Commerce event here.

The Union Minister wondered why banks were not floating long-term infra bonds with fixed coupon rates to raise money.

“Why the banks cannot float long-term infra bonds for a period of 25 years with a fixed coupon rate? It is a thought which is open for discussion,” Mr. Goyal, who also looks after Coal, Railways and Corporate Affairs, said.

Mr. Goyal said that such bonds would also provide a stable income flow to retired persons as well.

Speaking on the lending activity of banks, the Minister said “I had been focusing on the ability of the banking system to lend. We are trying to ensure that.”

MUDRA loans

Talking about MUDRA loans, Mr. Goyal said 12 crore people had availed of the advances involving an amount of ₹4 lakh crore.

Micro, small and medium enterprises and industry projects would start seeing a flow of credit shortly, the Minister said, adding that credit growth was already in double digits now.

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