Odisha Finance Minister emphasizes on Credit to Priority Sectors

Bhubaneswar: Fiancne Minister Shashi Bhushan Behera has emphasized on sanction of credit to the priority sectors so that it would be possible to achieve the target envisaged in the annual credit plan prepared by the Reserve Bank. He also said to hold credit workshops for sector like MSME, Agriculture, Horticulture, Fisheries, Animal Husbandry, Textile, Housing and Higher Education at periodic intervals where Bankers along with Departmental Field Officers would come together to identify potential entrepreneurs and process bankable proposals. Minister Sri Behera was speaking in the 148th State level Bankers’ Committee Meeting held today.
On the Banking scenario in the state, the Minister said that State Bank of India have made operational banking correspondents in 488 unbanked Grampanchayats while some other banks have indicated their consent to open 65 brick and mortar Branches and employee 182 Banking correspondents before December, 2017, so that 50% of the 1474 unbanked Grampanchayats will be covered. He also said that during the current financial year, the annual credit plan target is fixed at Rs, 60,000 crore for priority sector lending. This sector caters to the segments like agriculture, small and micro enterprises which support economic activities, generate income and also surplus and are worthy of receiving retail credit from the bank. Expressing concern over the matter of credit deposit ratio in 12 districts of the state below 40%, Minister suggested concentrated effort of the Government Officials and the Bankers to improve the situation.
DC-cum-ACS Dr R. Balkrishnan suggested convergence meeting on ideas, action, bankers and stakeholders to discuss threadbare on the credit plan. Sri Tuhin Kanta Pandey, Principal Secretary, Finance said although provision of opening 25% of the Bank Branches in rural areas is stipulated in guideline, bankers should come forward for establishment of banks in rural areas. He said that institutional credit will substantiate state’s growth.
Among others Chief Post Master General Sri S. K. Kamila, Chief General Manager, BSNL Sri Nayak, Executive Director UCO Bank and Chairman, SLBC Sri Charan Singh, CGM, NABARD Dr Panigrahi, CGM, SBI Sri Reddy, OiC, RBI Sri Das, General Manager, RBI, Sri Samal along with Secretaries, Directors of State Gvoernment Departments, representatives of Financial Institutions were present. Sri Anil Kumar, Convener of the SLBC gave the introductory address.

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