Banks only looking at securing more profits, ignoring their responsibilities in times of crisis: FinMin Sharma

Published On: January 10, 2022 06:30 PM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

KATHMANDU, Jan 10: Finance Minister Janardan Sharma has accused the banks and financial institutions (BFIs) of focusing on increasing their profits even at a time when the country is reeling under economic problems arising from the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic.

Speaking at the 2nd Annual General Meeting of the Confederation of Banks and Financial Institutions Nepal on Monday, Minister Sharma said the BFIs should not look for earning hefty profits at the time of crisis. “While the BFIs demand reducing the income taxes for them, shouldn’t they become more responsible toward society by minimizing their profits for the sake of the country and the people,” said Sharma hinting that the government is positive about reducing the tax rates for the BFIs.

In the recent days, banks have raised their lending rate on the pretext of the crunch of loanable funds with them. On the other hand, the BFIs have been engaged in aggressive lending despite their outcry of facing a liquidity shortage.

Sharma said the Ministry of Finance is receiving increasing complaints over banks exploiting their customers by raising the interest rate on loans. “Banks are requested not to increase their interest rates within a short time period once they sanction loans to their customers,” he said.    

Expressing his concerns over an increasing threat of a fresh wave of the coronavirus, Minister Sharma said the country is not in a position to withstand a new lockdown. “Rather, we should look for restrictive measures to smooth the economic activities,” Sharma added.  

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