Money & Banking

‘Banks have achieved half of farm credit target for this fiscal'

Our Bureau Kolkata | Updated on November 13, 2017

Taking stock: (From right) The Union Finance Minister, Mr Pranab Mukherjee, along with the West Bengal Chief Minister, Ms Mamata Banerjee, the Chief Minister of Meghalaya, Mr Mukul Sangma, and the Chief Minister of Arunachal Pradesh, Mr Nabam Tuki, during a meeting of the Chief Ministers of East Zone States and chiefs of public sector banks in Kolkata on Saturday.   -  PTI

The Union Finance Minister, Mr Pranab Mukherjee, on Saturday said banks in the country have achieved about half of the target for agricultural credit set for this year so far during this fiscal.

The Union Government had set a target of Rs 4.75 lakh crore for credit flow to the agriculture sector in 2011-12, of which banks have extended Rs 2.23 lakh crore as on September 30.

“Given the importance of credit to agriculture sector, it has been our endeavour to ensure timely availability of agriculture credit in adequate measure at an affordable cost to farmers,” Mr Mukherjee said at a meeting with the Chief Ministers of East Zone States and chiefs of public-sector banks to take stock of lending to the priority sector in the region here on Saturday. The meeting was attended by the Chief Ministers of Jharkhand, Meghalaya, Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh, the Deputy Chief Minister of Bihar, Finance Ministers of States in the region and chiefs of public-sector banks, among others.

In 2010-11, the banks had exceeded the target for agricultural credit of Rs 3.75 lakh crore by disbursing close to Rs 4.47 lakh crore. “Credit flow to the agriculture sector has been exceeding the annual target for the past many years,” Mr Mukherjee said.

Agri-credit in East

The eastern region, which had disbursed agricultural loans of Rs 41,095 crore in 2010-11, has extended advances only to the tune of Rs 2,454 crore till July 2011, according to estimates of National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (no data on agri-loans was available for Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur and Nagaland for July 2011).

Under the financial inclusion plan, out of 73,000 unbanked villages with population of 2,000 and above, over 45,000 villages have been covered as on October while in the eastern region, against a target of 23,000 villages, 12,000 villages have been covered during the same period.

>shobha@thehindu.co.in

>abhishek.l@thehindu.co.in

Published on December 10, 2011

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