Banks eager to help hail-hit farmers | india | Hindustan Times
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Banks eager to help hail-hit farmers

THE BANKING sector in the State has shown its eagerness to provide relief to farmers of Madhya Pradesh affected by the recent untimely rains and hailstorm that caused extensive damage to crops.

india Updated: Mar 26, 2006 14:21 IST

THE BANKING sector in the State has shown its eagerness to provide relief to farmers of Madhya Pradesh affected by the recent untimely rains and hailstorm that caused extensive damage to crops.

Central Bank of India’s executive director K Subbaraman, who was chairing the 123rd State-Level Bankers’ Committee (SLBC) meeting here today, expressed deep sorrow over the losses suffered by farmers and urged the State Government to declare a list of affected villages to enable the banks to start extending relief measures.

He expressed satisfaction over the performance of the banking sector in the State for fulfilling the objective of doubling of agricultural credit in three years.

He said the banks have almost achieved the target in two years period, by disbursing Rs 5533 crore by January 2006, against the target of Rs 6668 crore set for March 2007. “The achievement is 83 per cent, which is a commendable one,” he said.

Commenting on the performance of banking sector, Subbaraman said while the deposits increased by only Rs 520 crore, the advances grew by a whopping Rs 9495 crore over March 2005. “Priority sector accounted for Rs 4841 crore. The CD Ratio of the State stood at 73 per cent, against national norm of 60 per cent”.

Citing an RBI circular, Principal Secretary, Finance, Sumit Bose said under it the banks could go for conversion, rescheduling and rephrasing or appropriately maintain a status quo on loans and interests thereof to farmers in case of natural calamities.

Circulating an instruction of the Directorate of Institutional Finance to all State heads of banks in the meeting, Bose emphasised that immediate action be taken by lead banks in districts in cooperation with the government to provide suitable relief to farmers.

Bose urged the SLBC to take up the matter with lead district managers through DLCCs in taking up concrete measures in providing relief to farmers at the earliest. A district-wise report of damages to crops due to hailstorm was also presented in the meeting.

The issue of bank loan to agri-graduates was also raised, whereby it was pointed out that in terms of RBI guideline, the banks should not insist for collateral security for loans up to Rs 5 lakh.

“However, discussions with the beneficiaries revealed that bank branches, in general are unwilling to provide loan without collateral security,” convener of SLBC, RP Tripathi pointed out, stating that the facility is not confined to agri-graduates alone.

The bankers’ committee urged the State Government to waive stamp duty being charged for all non-agricultural activities for registered mortgage.

In his welcome address, Tripathi highlighted the progress recorded by the banking sector during the third quarter of the current fiscal and achievements of banks in meeting the target of doubling the flow of credit to agriculture sector by the end of the current fiscal. He showed his concern over the participation and submission of data by the private banks to the SLBC.

Apart from principal secretaries, Commerce & Industry OP Rawat, Panchayat & Rural Development Pradeep Bhargava, Rural Industries IM Chahal and commissioner Institutional Finance Praveen Garg, regional director RBI Dr KV Rajan, chief general manager State Bank of India S Bhattacharya and senior officials from bank and financial institutions also attended the meeting.


HIGHLIGHTS

1 State government’s instruction to banks on providing relief to affected farmers.

2 35 lakh Kisan Credit Cards issued.

3 18061 SHGs financially assisted.

4 Bank advances increases by Rs 9495 crore.

5 Agricultural advances increases by 2321 crore (18% over March 05).

6 Under annual credit plan disbursement – Rs 4994 crore (agri), Rs 341 crore (SSI), Rs 1470 crore (OPS).

7 Advances to women beneficiaries 5.9% of total advances.