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Bangalore, Jan. 4

BANKS have stepped up rehabilitation assistance to those affected by the tsunami. Surveys to identify those in need of immediate assistance have begun.

Speaking at the State-level bankers' committee meeting here on Tuesday, Mr K.M. Shet, acting Chairman and Managing Director of the Syndicate Bank, said that preliminary information indicated that not many in Karnataka were affected by the calamity. Therefore, a major part of the rehabilitation assistance would be focussed only in regions that were impacted Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Andhra Pradesh.

He said that a review of the performance of the banks in meeting the credit disbursal indicated that most member banks had exceeded targets. The credit deposit ratio in Karnataka was 69.79 per cent and the credit plus investment deposit ratio in the state was 74 per cent.

Gross advances in the State for the first half of the financial year was Rs 57,194 crore and gross deposits were Rs 81,957 crore. Advances to agriculture were Rs 10,882 crore accounting for about 19.02 per cent of the total advances. In addition fresh Kisan Credit Cards were extended to 2.32 lakh farmers with a credit limit of Rs 1,039.10 crore. The cumulative coverage of the Kisan Credit Cards was 27.05 lakh and all these cardholders were covered under the Personal Accident Insurance Scheme.

The banks, Mr Shet said, till November had reached 73 per cent of the targeted disbursal for those farmers requiring financial support and relief measures. The amount disbursed till November was Rs 4,537.84 crore as against the targeted Rs 6,253.14 crore for the whole year. About 3.1 lakh new farmers have been brought to the institutional fold during the first eight months of the current year.

Bankers, he said, had provided assistance to at least 85,391 farmers in distress, mostly affected by the prolonged dry spell in the State.

These farmers were provided assistance amounting to Rs 325.16 crore. These included some rescheduling and restructuring of loans. Under the one-time settlement at about 10,623 small and marginal farmers were assisted with a mount of Rs 34.11 crore, he said.

To augment credit flow to the agriculture, the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development had extended liquidity support scheme to District Credit Cooperative Banks (DCCB). Cooperative banks as a result of this support were able to disburse Rs 747 crore against the target of Rs 1,597 crore. Regional rural banks disbursed Rs 755.65 crore against the target of Rs 1,107 crore for the entire year.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated January 5, 2005)
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