KARNATAKA

Plan to double credit to farm sector

DHARWAD, JULY 24. The National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) has prepared an action plan to ensure that the credit given to the agricultural sector is doubled in the next three years as directed by the Centre.

Disclosing this at a State-level Coordination and Review Committee meeting attended by chairmen of regional rural banks (RRBs) in the State here today, B.B. Mohanty, Chief General Manager, NABARD, urged the RRBs to play a vital role to achieve the objective.

Mr. Mohanty said the lending by banks to the agricultural sector was unsatisfactory. It was time the banks explored ways of increasing lending to the sector to ensure greater development.

Mr. Mohanty said NABARD was relying on the RRBs for rural development. Stating that parts of the State were likely to face drought this year also, he asked the RRBs to be ready with contingency plans to help farmers.

`Promote SHGs'

He said the regional rural banks should pay more attention to those living below the poverty line and give priority to promoting self-help groups (SHGs).

NABARD had sanctioned Rs. 210 crores to 95,000 SHGs and the RRBs had played a major role in this campaign.

He urged the RRBs to play a decisive role in the implementation of government-sponsored schemes, popularising the kisan credit card, and encouraging women to taken up self-employment schemes.

Mr. Mohanty termed the progress achieved by RRBs quite satisfactory.

There had been a 13 per cent increase in deposit mobilisation, which had resulted in the RRBs collecting deposits of Rs. 3,487 crores.

Credit disbursement had increased by 8.5 per cent and Rs. 1,712.12 crores had been disbursed, he said.

The RRBs in the State were making profits, and the Malaprabha Grameena Bank had registered a profit of Rs. 35 crores, he said.

Hike in lending

According to the direction of the Centre, there had to be a 40 per cent increase in lending to the agriculture sector during the current financial year.

The regional rural banks had to disburse Rs. 857.56 crores. Assistance to the non-farm sector should be stepped up, he said. M.L. Sukhdev, General Manager, NABARD, spoke on the occasion.

B.N. Surendra, Chairman of the Malaprabha Grameena Bank, welcomed the gathering.

N.T. Hegde of the Varada Grameena Bank, Jagatpal of the Bijapur Grameena Bank, Gopal Shetty of the Visveshwaraiah Grameena Bank, Srinivisan of the Netravati Grameena Bank, K.P. Hegde of the Kolar Grameena Bank, N. Narasareddy of the Chitradurga Grameena Bank, V.N. Hegde of the Chikmagalur-Kodagu Grameena Bank, R.R. Desai of the Krishna Grameena Bank, C.S. Jagadish of the Cauvery Grameena Bank, P.N. Murthy of the Tungabhadra Grameena Bank, T. Lokeshaiah of the Kalpataru Gramena Bank, and B.M. Rai of the Sahyadri Grameena Bank were present.

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