KARNATAKA

Farm sector gets 74 p.c. allocation in credit plan

RAICHUR, MARCH 24. The district annual credit plan for 2005-06, released here on Thursday by the lead bank, State Bank of Hyderabad, Raichur, has an outlay of Rs. 496.31 crores, an increase of 28 per cent over last year's outlay.

Around 74 per cent of the plan amount has been earmarked for the development of farm sector.

Under the potential linked plan (PLP) of the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD), the bank's credit flow for 2005-06 will be Rs. 496.31 crores against the projected outlay of Rs. 525.19 crores.

There will be a shortfall of Rs. 28.88 crores, which will be met by way of subsidy, margin money, and private investment.

K. Raghavendra Rao, Deputy General Manager (Regional Rural Banks) of the bank in Hyderabad, launched the credit plan at a function here. He handed over copies of the credit plan to A.A. Biswas, Chief Executive Officer of the Raichur Zilla Panchayat.

Thrust area

Mr. Rao said that the bank has identified agriculture as a thrust area. The cultivation of paddy and cotton on a large scale in command areas of the Tungabahdra Left Bank Canal will be given impetus. Importance has been given to the development of horticulture, diary and animal husbandry. Special attention has been given to the construction of storage areas for foodgrains. He said that the outlay earmarked for the development of agriculture will be doubled in the next three years.

Mr. Biswas said there is a need to give importance to employment-generation programmes in Deodurga taluk. The bank has given least importance to the taluk and has earmarked only around six per cent share in its credit plan. He said that though Deodurga has been labelled as a most backward area in the State, agriculture has increased after the construction of the Narayanapura Right Bank Canal of the Upper Krishna Project. A vast area of arid land in the taluk has been covered under irrigation.

Farm loans

R. Shekar, Assistant General Manager, Reserve Bank of India, Bangalore, said that the bank has give top priority to farm loans. The Government had exempted stamp duty on crop loans raised by farmers and is also planning to extend the facility to self-help groups. The Deputy Commissioner, H.V. Parsvanath, presided over the function.

Of the Rs. 496.31-crore outlay, Rs. 286.34 crores has been earmarked for the agricultural sector.A sum of Rs. 81.59 crores has been reserved for term loans for other farm activities, including minor irrigation, land development, farm mechanisation, horticulture, diary and poultry development, storage and market yard and animal husbandry and related activities. A sum of Rs. 35.69 crores has been earmarked for industries and Rs. 92.68 crores to the service sector.

The Assistant General Manager (DD), NABARD, Raichur, said that the bank has given priority for alleviation of poverty while boosting agricultural development in the district. The performance of the banks has been commendable, he said.

M.M. Budruk Patil, Assistant General Manager of the regional office of the bank in Raichur, welcomed.

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