Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy has asked bankers in the State to pull up their socks to put up improved performance in the remainder period of the 2012-13 financial year. He complimented them for disbursing crop loans on a large-scale, but pointed out that lending to some of the sectors was very poor.
Speaking at the State-Level Bankers’ Committee meeting here on Saturday, the Chief Minister said the banks were required to lend further though they had already crossed targets in crop loans as farmers were badly affected by drought conditions on one hand and Nilam cyclone on the other. He asked the banks to enhance scale of finance since all input costs and labour charges had gone up considerably.
As it was getting increasingly difficult for farmers to become sustainable only with agriculture he stressed the need to give higher finance to allied activities such as dairy, poultry, horticulture, fisheries and others, he said.
The Chief Minister expressed dismay over lending only Rs. 54 crore to physically-disabled persons against a target of Rs. 600 crore.
Delay in opening no-frills accounts and other reasons had forced the government to resume Rs. 300 crore out of Rs. 1,850 crore released as input subsidy to farmers who suffered crop loss in floods this year, he noted.
Earlier, Revenue Minister N. Raghuveera Reddy and Finance Minister A. Ramanarayana Reddy expressed dissatisfaction over the banks’ poor lending to licensed cultivators (tenant farmers). “In stead of increasing finance to tenant farmers every year, it has come down. Only 1.26 lakh of them were given crop loans this year against 1.97 lakh last year,” the Finance Minister said.
There were about 25 lakh tenant farmers in the State and of them, only 4.23 lakh had taken loan eligibility cards issued by the government.
The Revenue Minister urged the bankers to fix district-wise targets for lending to tenant farmers. Convener of SLBC and Chairman of Andhra Bank B.A. Prabhakar listed out the progress of annual credit plan in the beginning.