News Excerpt
Union Minister for Finance & Corporate Affairs recently unveiled EASE 3.0, the Public Sector Bank (PSB) Reforms Agenda 2020-21 for smart, tech-enabled banking.

Pre-Connect
●    PSB Reforms EASE (Enhanced Access and Service Excellence) Agenda is a common reform agenda for PSBs aimed at institutionalizing clean and smart banking.
●    It was launched in 2018, and the subsequent edition of the program ― EASE 2.0 built on the foundation laid in EASE 1.0 and furthered the progress on reforms.
●    Reform Action Points in EASE 2.0 aimed at making the reforms journey irreversible, strengthening processes and systems, and driving outcomes.
●    The government in EASE 2.0, had proposed pushing liquidity in the public sector banks, reconstituting the management committee and possible mergers among the ideal partners in the Indian banking sector.

Analytica
⮚    Some of the new features that customers of public sector banks may experience under EASE 3.0 reforms agenda include facilities like Palm Banking for “End-to-end digital delivery of financial service”, “Banking on Go” via EASE banking outlets at frequently visited spots like malls, stations, complexes and campuses. Within this, the Ministry’s idea is to establish paperless and digitally-enabled banking at places where people visit the most.
⮚    The government aims are to focus on digitalisation in the Public Sector Banks (PSBs) among themes that include responsible banking, customer responsiveness, PSBs as Udyami Mitra, credit take-off and deep financial inclusions. Therefore, EASE 3.0 seeks to enhance ease of banking in all customer experiences, using technology, FinTech, alternate data and analytics.
⮚    The Government has introduced several governance reforms. The governance reforms include:  
o    arm’s length selection of top bank management through Banks Board Bureau,
o    introduction of non-executive chairpersons,
o    empowered bank Boards,
o    strengthening of the Board committee’s system,
o    enhancing the effectiveness of non-official directors, and
o    Leadership development and succession planning for the top two levels below the Board.

Conclusion
EASE 3.0 will provide advanced solutions that will make the public sector banking smart and technology-enabled. Over the last five years, PSBs have not only cleaned up legacy stress and addressed underlying systemic weaknesses but have emerged stronger as a result of comprehensive and institutionalized EASE reforms. Thus, EASE 3.0 sets the agenda and roadmap for FY21 for their transformation into digital and data-driven NextGen Banking of the Future for an aspiring India.

PEPPER IT WITH
Standard Restructured Assets (SRA), PMJDY, Asset reconstruction companies (ARCs), PJ Nayak Committee