As many as 13 public sector banks failed to meet lending targets for minority communities in 2010-11. The finance ministry has asked these banks to furnish reasons for failing to meet the set targets.
These banks include Bank of Baroda, Oriental Bank of Commerce, IDBI Bank, Bank of Maharashtra, Corporation Bank, State Bank of Bikaner and Jaipur, Dena Bank, Vijaya Bank, Andhra Bank, State Bank of Mysore, Union Bank of India, UCO Bank and State Bank of Hyderabad.
The government has asked all public sector banks to direct 15% of the total priority sector lending to the minority communities. The government has also asked the banks to chalk out a plan to ensure that the lending target to the minority communities is met in the current fiscal.
A public sector bank chairman, on condition of anonymity, told Hindustan Times that though banks have been asked to step up lending to minority communities, there is a dearth of takers due to lack of awareness. “Banks have to adhere to several conditions to be able to lend to any borrower, even if he belongs to a minority community and that also has an impact in the process,” he said.
A source said that banks are looking at ways to identify potential borrowers so that they do not need to go through the regular process of screening.