Orissa CM asks banks to share 50% of credit needs of farmers

Unhappy over the role of commercial banks in providing credit to farmers and small industrial units in Orissa, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik today asked the banks to share at least 50 per cent of the credit requirements of the agriculture sector.

"There is serious imbalance between the share of cooperative and commercial banks in financing credit needs of the agriculture sector in Orissa," Patnaik said after inaugurating 129th State Level Bankers Committee meet here.

While commercial banks provided more than 70 per cent of credit to agriculture and 17 per cent loans given by the cooperative banks at all India level, the situation in Orissa was totally different. Cooperative banks continued to provide around two-third of crop loans to farmers in the state, Patnaik said.

"There is absolutely no reason why this trend should continue here. The commercial banks and the regional rural banks have a vast network of branches. Commercial banks and RRBs must share at least 50 per cent of the credit requirement of the agriculture sector," the chief minister said.

The chief minister was also not happy over commercial banks lending to small, micro and medium industries in the state.

"I continue to receive several representations that credit needs of small and micro enterprisers are not being met adequately by the commercial banks here," Patnaik said.

Terming it as disheartening that though the overall CD ratio of all banks was around 76 per cent in the state, Patnaik said the CD ratio in quite a few districts was below 40 per cent. The CD ratio of many public sector banks in the rural and semi-rural areas was below 50 per cent.

Citing another instance, the chief minister said only 125 Weavers Credit Cards were sanctioned against the target of 12,000 fixed by the government. "This is an area of concern," he said.

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