Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Private Banks not participating in agricultural activities

The 102th meeting of the State-Level Bankers’ Committee, Haryana was convened by the Punjab National Bank, the lead bank for Haryana, in Chandigarh. In this meeting issue of private banks not participating in agricultural activities was discussed.

PNB Executive Director J M Garg stated that 1,000 farmers’ clubs has been formed in Haryana since September, but the contribution of private banks has been negligible. In order to meet the targets of priority sector lending, the private banks were lending to progressive farmers and not small and marginal farmers.

Garg, who was also chairperson of the meeting, said in his keynote address in order to provide much-needed relief to farmers and a large section of the rural poor during 2006-07, the RBI had asked the banks to give production credit up to Rs 3 lakh at 7 per cent and claim financial support at 2 per cent from the apex bank. This will continue in 2007-08 also.

He informed out of 20 districts in Haryana 11 had been covered under financial inclusion and 100 per cent financial inclusion will be achieved by March next year.

About 60 percent of the households from the remaining districts have been covered and all the households in the state will have access to credit in a few months.

From September last year to September this year, in Haryana Garg said 124 branches of commercial banks and regional rural banks were opened in the state, thus raising the number of branches from 1,750 to 1,874.

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