With the ban on iron ore mining in Goa pushing bank deposits to a negative growth of 11 per cent during 2012-13 and the non-performing assets (NPAs) in the mining-related sectors too rising steadily, bankers in the State see robust growth in agricultural lending in 2012-13 as the only silver lining in the banking horizon.

Agricultural lending of Goan banks has gone up to Rs.556.99 crore in 2012-13, significantly above State’s annual credit plan (ACP) target of Rs.384.08 crore and as against Rs.369.89 crores of ACP achieved in 2011-12.

The figures released at the quarterly State-Level Bankers’ Committee (SLBC) meeting held here recently under the lead bank State Bank of India (SBI) has brought out the contours of huge impact of the mining ban on the overall economy of the State.

Rising NPAs

To add to their woes of rising NPAs amounting to about Rs.400 crore from nearly Rs.1,400 crore exposure to trucks, barges, mining machinery and other mining-related small businesses and activities, banks showed poor achievement of 24 per cent (Rs.109 crore out of Rs.464 crore projected) in non-farm sector disbursements in 2012-13. Disbursements under other priority sector too were abysmally low at Rs.1,314 crore, a 67 per cent achievement of annual target of Rs.1,951 crore.

The overall achievement under ACP for the State was Rs.1,980 crore against the annual target of Rs.2,800 crore.

At the SLBC meeting, while the State Chief Secretary B. Vijayan tried to push for restructuring of advances to various stakeholders of mining like transporters and barge industry, Reserve Bank of India (RBI) representatives continued to be non-committal.

All eyes are now set on the next hearing of the Goa mining case in the Supreme Court on July 7, sources in SBI said on Tuesday.

While deposits for the first time showed a decline of Rs.4,933 crore, advances increased marginally by Rs.672 crore (5.7 per cent) as against the projected growth of 14 per cent in deposits and 36 per cent in advances.

A negative growth in deposits coupled with a marginal increase in lending has pushed the credit-deposit ratio for 2012-13 to 31 per cent from 27 per cent in 2011-12.

According to SLBC figures, deposits of banks in Goa as on March 31, 2013, were Rs.39,661.43 crore as against Rs.44,594.84 crore in the previous year.

Goa has urged the Centre to give a special package to tide over its mining crisis. Direct loss of Rs.1,200 crore per annum from iron ore royalty for the State had a dent on its finances.

The only silver lining is robust growth in agricultural lending

in 2012-13