1.25 lakh tonnes of godown space needed in district
Dakshina Kannada suffers from a shortage of around 55,000 tonnes of storage space for the public distribution system and it would take Rs. 19.25 crore to rectify this, said Prasad Rao, District Development Manager, National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (Nabard) said here.
He was speaking at the district-level review committee meeting for banking development.
Quoting a recent study done by Nabard on the godown facilities in the district, Mr. Rao said out of the 1.25 lakh tonnes of godown space needed to store agricultural produce only around 70 tonnes of godown space was available in the government sector. However, with non-perishable crops such as areca, rubber and coconut being the dominant produce here, the problem of food rotting does not arise in the district, he told reporters.
Under the Grameen Bhandaran Yojana (Rural Godown Scheme), Rs. 3,500 as low-interest loans will be given for godowns per tonne of storage, he told reporters. “And, banks can think of it is a good opportunity for finance and can link up with entrepreneurs on creating godowns,” said Mr. Rao.
Direct cash transfer
With the linking of LPG subsidy to the Aadhaar card being implemented in the district from next year, Thulasi Maddineni, Chief Executive Officer of the Zilla Panchayat, asked the banks to create enough awareness by distributing pamphlets with the cylinders that are being delivered currently.
“We don’t want a scenario where everyone rushes for an Aadhaar card in December,” she said.
The bankers informed her that the list of customers has been sought from gas companies, and these customers would be encouraged to obtain an Aadhaar card and link it to their bank accounts.
Currently, around 35 per cent of the district is covered under Aadhaar, while 25 per cent more under the National Population Registry (NPR).
Even amid gloomy weather, the banks in the district have crossed a turnover of Rs. 40,500 crore in the district, which represents a nearly 17.1 per cent annual growth, said I.T. Sethuraman, Deputy General Manager of Syndicate Bank, which is the lead bank of the district.
Addressing the review meeting for bank development, he said: “The economy continues to be sluggish with banking and services to be hit. .” He added that the only silver-lining was the good monsoons, which will see good credit flow.
Another worrying sign is the Credit Deposit ratio (that is, the percentage of deposits in the bank as against loan) is only at 53.8 per cent, when the target was set at 60 per cent, said Mr. Sethuraman.