Bank of Baroda’s Mega MSME Outreach ProgrammeThe Bank of Baroda recently conducted a ‘Mega MSME Outreach Programme’ to connect MSME borrowers across India through a live webinar. A large number of MSME borrowers along with the bank’s general managers, zonal managers, regional managers, branch managers, and heads of SME loan divisions participated in the live webinar. It was hosted by Vikramaditya Singh Khichi, Executive Director, Bank of Baroda. The webinar was a drive to address the concerns of MSMEs about handholding measures taken by the government, the Reserve Bank of India and the Bank of Baroda to support them to overcome the on-going crisis.Khichi stated, “The MSME sector, which is the backbone of the economy and the country’s biggest employer, has been severely affected by the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic and the lockdown. MSMEs have always been an area of priority for the Bank of Baroda. As a face-to-face interaction was ruled out, this ‘Mega MSME Outreach Programme’ was conceived wherein we connected online with almost 49,000 customers apart from bank officials from metro, urban, semi-urban and rural centres across the country.”The bank officials recommended a road-map regarding mitigating the challenges posed to the MSME sector. Through the chat box facility, the participants raised doubts and queries. The bank received approximately 22,000 queries by the platform. Later, the MSME borrowers were made aware of the business opportunities that are likely to arrive in various segments in the post COVID-19 period.Khichi added, “The Department of Financial Services is very keen to ensure that the MSME industry remains in good health, as it is one of the growth engines of our economy. We hope to fructify this initiative with focused and result oriented measures including liquidity management through a special COVID Emergency Credit Line, moratorium on loan instalment / interest payment, re-assessment of limits, restructuring of loans etc.” Leveraging MSMEs is more important for Union BankRajkiran Rai G., Managing Director and CEO, Union Bank of India recently addressed a Special e-Session titled 'Post COVID Challenges on the Indian Economy and the Role of Banks' organised by the Bharat Chamber of Commerce.Rajkiran Rai G. has observed that extending credit to MSMEs is not the only solution, since it will destroy the leveraging power. He said that the banks following the guidelines of the RBI, have already offered 10% additional working capital limit which is pre-approved and collateral free. Rai suggested that a special ‘Interest Subvention Scheme’ for all the category of MSMEs, having good credit history, can be devised to address the liquidity issue. Manas Ranjan Biswal, Executive Director, Union Bank of India, present at the e-session advocated about the various schemes of credit available with the Union Bank of India.IndustrySAIL organised webinarAnil Kumar Chaudhary, Chairman, Steel Authority of India Ltd. (SAIL), recently interacted with officers of IISCO Steel Plant through video conferencing. At the outset, SAIL Chairman discussed about the company and the current situation in the steel market. He appealed to officers to strengthen their roles in the present situation. Around 300 officers took part in the web conference.Chaudhary expressed his concern over growing inventory and attributed it to the dip in demand of steel in the current market. He emphasised on the need of hard work along with strategic outlook and collective participation of all concerned with the industry. Additionally, he discussed the adverse effects of the Covid-19 pandemic on the financial health of the company.