Thursday, 17 May 2012

Bankers to support government's agriculture road map

Abhay Singh,
PATNA: Deputy chief minister Sushil Kumar Modi said on Wednesday that bankers had agreed to support the state's Agriculture Road Map for the next five years entailing an expenditure of Rs 1.5 lakh crore to accelerate development of the agriculture sector. A special State Level Bankers' Committee (SLBC) meeting would be held to discuss in detail the manner in which the support could be extended.

CM Nitish Kumar, earlier in his inaugural address to the first meeting of SLBC in the current fiscal held on the day, had asked the bankers to explore if they could support the state government's bid to strengthen the agriculture sector as per the road map. "Bankers agreed to the CM's suggestion," Modi said, adding the date of the special SLBC meeting would be decided later. The CM had also suggested that the bankers should have their own Citizen's Charter to accept or reject loan applications within a time frame.

Incidentally, the state's agriculture sector has showed signs of recovery in the last couple of years, averaging a growth rate of slightly over 4%, a bit higher than the national average of around 3%. The CM told the bankers that huge business opportunities awaited them in the agriculture sector, as there had been record paddy production and its procurement, too, was high, demanding urgent attention to development of infrastructure, including godowns for foodgrain storage on a large scale and for other agriculture-related activities.

In tune with the changing scenario in the sector, Modi said all the banks together provided agriculture loans worth Rs 14,957 crore under the Annual Credit Plan (ACP) during the last fiscal year as against Rs 10,697 crore in the 2010-11 fiscal year - an increase of 40%. On the other hand, against the loan disbursement target of Rs 43,200 crore under various heads of ACP, the bankers disbursed Rs 32,415 crore - an achievement of 75.04%. In keeping with the trend, the ACP for the current fiscal has been fixed at Rs 51,400 crore.

Stating that the situation had improved vastly over the last six fiscal years, Modi said attention, as per the Centre's directive, was on issuance of Kisan Credit Cards (KCC) and loan disbursement under the same. The KCC holders now would be provided with Smart Credit Cards to facilitate easy withdrawal of money by them from ATMs, while the validity period of KCCs had now been increased from three to five years, he added. Lead district managers of banks, deputy collectors (banking) and others concerned would be given special training next month to provide kharif loan to KCC holders more effectively. Well-monitored special camps would also be held for education loan disbursement over the next three months.
Original Article Here

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