Our Bureau

Mumbai, April 30

GROSS bank credit decreased by Rs 9,427 crore to Rs 11,32,274 crore, for the fortnight ended April 15, according to RBI's Weekly Statistical Supplement against Rs 11,41,701 crore in the previous fortnight.

This is inclusive of food credit, which decreased by Rs 3,169 crore to touch Rs 36,847 crore and non-food credit, which decreased by 6,257 crore to touch Rs 10,95,745 crore.

Normally, bank credit in the first quarter of a new fiscal is substantially lower than that of the last quarter of the previous fiscal.

Similarly, for the fortnight ended April 1, 2005, which was the last fortnight of the financial year 2004-05, gross bank credit surged by Rs 49,610 crore to touch Rs 11,41,701 crore.

Analysts ascribe the sudden surge in bank credit to the `year-end window dressing phenomenon,' where banks aggressively push up advances to meet their targets.

Loans and advances to the State Governments increased by Rs 4,220 crore for the fortnight under review.

Total accommodation provided by scheduled commercial banks to the commercial sector in the form of bank credit and investments in shares, debentures, bonds and commercial paper increased by Rs 44,739 crore to touch Rs 11,44,281 crore for the week ended April 18.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated May 1, 2005)
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