Infrastructure lending will be discussed at today's meet

Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee has convened a meeting with chief executives of public sector banks (PSBs) and financial institutions here on Friday to review the annual performance of these lending agencies.

Farm credit target

“The Finance Minister will do the annual review of public sector banks' performance in different sectors including flow of agriculture credit, micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) credit, disbursement of housing loans and education loans among others,” a Finance Ministry statement said.

According to the statement, the government has set a farm credit target of Rs.4.75 lakh crore for 2011-12 as against the target of Rs.3.75 lakh crore during 2010-11. However, the actual credit outgo during 2010-11 stood at Rs.4.47 lakh crore and, thereby, exceeded the target by 19 per cent or Rs.71,778.98 crore.

Besides, 5.50 crore farm loan accounts were financed during the same period, marking an increase of 14.11 per cent in the number of farm accounts and 16.19 per cent in the amount of loans disbursed. Under the ‘Kisan Credit Card' (KCC) scheme, banks issued 9.81 crore cards as on December 31, 2010.

Financial inclusion

Also likely to come up for discussion and review during the meeting, the statement said, would be issues related to infrastructure lending, implementation of interest subsidy schemes for housing the urban poor and lending to minority communities.

The banks' performance in financial inclusion will also be assessed along with their plan in this regard for 2011-12.

In all, about 72,950 villages have been identified by banks for providing appropriate banking facilities and bringing them under the overall banking network. Of these, 29,569 villages have already been covered in 2010-11 and the remaining 43,381 villages are to be covered during the current financial year. At present, there are 71 unbanked blocks in the country, of which 70 are in the Northeastern region and one block in Jammu and Kashmir.

The Finance Minister, the statement said, will also review the financial performance of PSBs and financial institutions with regard to parameters such as deposits, advances, gross non-performing assets (NPAs) and net profit.

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