‘Few banks are following guidelines laid down by the State’
MP Rayapati Sambasiva Rao on Saturday took strong objection to the banks’ negligence in disbursing credit to tenant farmers holding Loan Eligibility Cards (LECs). He said tenant farmers were put to serious trouble by the banks which refused to extend loans to those not providing collateral security. Few banks were following guidelines laid down by the State government as there was no effective monitoring.
Addressing a District Level Review Committee of banks here, Mr. Sambasiva Rao said only 16,616 LECs were given in the current financial year compared to about 40,000 in the previous year and even the quantum of financial assistance given to the card-holders was well below the targets.
Of the 16,616 LEC-holders, only 7,242 farmers got Rs. 16.90 crore. The State Bank of India (SBI) lent Rs. 95.91 lakh to only 440 out of total 4,368 beneficiaries to whom it was supposed to extend credit facility. The performance of other banks is far from satisfactory.
Chaitanya Godavari Grameena Bank stood out by giving Rs. 12.64 crore to 5,134 out of 5,940 farmers.
The purpose of the much-touted ‘financial inclusion’ scheme would be defeated if a large number of farmers are deprived of their share of credit, Mr. Sambasiva Rao observed and suggested to the Reserve Bank of India AGM Hariharan to take necessary steps for meeting the targets.
MLC K.S. Lakshman Rao said the objective of banks’ nationalisation should be borne in mind by the banks while reaching out to the masses.
Collector S. Suresh Kumar said banks had lent Rs 2,386 crore to farm sector as against the targeted Rs. 2,196 crore during the kharif season. It was an achievement of 108 per cent.
A sum of Rs. 682 crore was disbursed compared to Rs. 1,464 crore that was targeted during the Rabi season.
Additional Joint Collector K. Sarada Devi, Andhra Bank DGM K. Venkateswarlu, NABARD AGM M. Nageswara Rao, LDM Rami Reddy and others took part in the deliberations.