CM asks banks to extend greater support to farm sector, women

Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy said the Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP) fell by 2.58% in the financial year 2020-21 against a 7.25% decline in the country’s GDP due to the COVID crisis.

The relatively small erosion in GSDP was because of the support extended by banks, he said, while requesting them to increase lending to the agriculture sector, particularly the tenant farmers, and term loans.

Addressing the State-level Bankers’ Committee (SLBC) meeting on Thursday, Mr. Jagan said like never before, India’s tax revenue registered a sharp decline of 3.38% in 2019-20 as the economy was crippled by the pandemic. The economic turnaround appeared to take a longer time due to lockdowns and restrictions still in force to contain the spread of the pandemic, he observed.

As far as Andhra Pradesh was concerned, term loan disbursements came down by ₹3,237 crore compared to the corresponding period in the 2020-21 fiscal, and the overall bank credit for the agriculture sector decreased by 1.32% for various reasons. There was, however, a 10.49% rise in the crop loan portfolio.

Tenant farmers

The Chief Minister said banks should come to the rescue of tenant farmers who were leading a hand-to-mouth existence due to the devastating impact of COVID. He mentioned that the government had so far provided crop cultivating right cards to 4,91,330 tenant farmers and the same data was integrated with the e-cropping system and Rythu Bharosa Kendras (RBKs). This information should be used for the sake of giving loans to tenant farmers.

Banking correspondents

Mr. Jagan said it was a good thing that the banks mapped 9,160 RBKs and decided to appoint correspondents there. The banks had already attached correspondents to 6,538 RBKs, he said and requested them to appoint one at every RBK in a phased manner.

On being told that 100% of the banking services in Kadapa district were digitised, Mr. Jagan said he would be impressed with their statement only when the services rendered by correspondents grew to a stage where the banks set up their branches in the villages, but not merely with claims to have provided ATMs and credit cards, Internet facility etc. to all the customers.

He said banks should focus on providing financial assistance under YSR Cheyutha scheme, under which the government had tied up with firms like ITC, Procter & Gamble, Hindustan Unilever, Reliance and Amul to help women in setting up and running up businesses, especially grocery stores.

The Chief Minister requested the banks to lend at least ₹35,000 per unit as loan under the weaker sections’ housing scheme at a nominal interest rate of 3% and said the government would pay the remaining interest. He went on to suggest banks to focus on providing credit to petty traders under Jagananna Thodu scheme and Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises which have tremendous potential for growth.

Ministers Buggana Rajendranath Reddy (Finance) and K. Kannababu (Agriculture), Chief Secretary Aditya Nath Das, RBI Regional Director K. Nikhila, SLBC Convener V. Brahmananda Reddy and others took part in the deliberations.

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Printable version | Oct 27, 2021 11:09:02 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/cm-asks-banks-to-extend-greater-support-to-farm-sector-women/article36392206.ece

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