Staff Reporter

‘Focus on lending to farm sector’

BHUBANESWAR: Reserve Bank of India on Monday granted banking licence to Orissa State Cooperative Bank (OSCB), which would henceforth function like any other commercial banks.

Regional director of RBI Kaja Sudhakar handed over the banking licence to Jagneswar Babu, OSCB, at a function here.

OSCB is a scheduled bank incorporated in the second schedule of RBI and all its 14 branches have been licensed by the RBI. However, the banking licence required under Section 22 of the Banking Regulation Act, 1949 has been issued thereby making it a full-fledged bank at par with other commercial banks both in public and private sector, said OSCB president.

“From out of 31 State cooperative banks functioning in the country, 16 State cooperative banks are yet to be issued licence by the RBI. Similarly, from out of 369 district cooperative banks, only 75 are licenced,” he said.

Mr. Babu said after issue of licence by RBI, the OSCB would get wider recognition in the entire country as a scheduled and licenced bank and it will continue its endeavour to cater to the credit requirement of the farming community besides pursuing regular banking activities.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Sudhakar said OSCB’s Capital to its Risk-weighted Assets Ratio (CRAR), Cash Reserve Ratio and Statutory Liquidity Ratio qualified criteria of RBI which was main reason behind granting banking licence to the State cooperative bank.

Sanatan Panda of National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development who inspected the bank before recommending for banking licence said if OSCB failed to maintain its standard as per criteria fixed by RBI, the licence would be withdrawn.

He said district cooperative banks in Balasore, Bhadrak, Angul, Khurda and Boudh were on their way to get banking licence from RBI.

“As against target of financing Rs. 1,500 crores crop loan during Kharif 2009, the achievement was Rs.1,407 crore. During the current Rabi, a programme for dispensation of Rs. 1,152 crore has been drawn,” OSCB President said.

He said henceforth OSCB would fiercely get into activities of commercial banks to compensate the loss being incurred by extending agricultural credits.