Financial Daily from THE HINDU group of publications
Tuesday, Apr 25, 2006
Agri-Biz & Commodities
Money & Banking - Farm credit
States - Karnataka
Extend loans to small tea growers, RBI tells banks
(FROM LEFT) Mr B.B. Mohanty, CGM, Nabard, Mr A.K. Agarwal, Additional Chief Secretary & Development Commissioner, Karnataka Government, Mr C.P. Swarnkar, CMD, Syndicate Bank & Chairman, SLBC-Karnataka, Mr George Joseph, ED, Syndicate Bank, and Ms Devaki Muthukrishnan, Regional Director, RBI, at 97th State-Level Bankers' Committee meeting in Bangalore on Monday. K. Gopinathan
Bangalore , April 24
The Reserve Bank of India advised the member-banks of the State-Level Bankers Committee (SLBC) to extend debt relief to small tea growers in South India.
Speaking at the SLBC meeting here, the RBI's Regional Director, Ms Devaki Muthukrishanan, said many of the banks had not implemented the RBI's guidelines on such relief to the tea growers. She called on the SLBC to set up an appropriate monitoring committee for the purpose.
She also said: "Banks need to stop insisting on letters of introduction on compassionate grounds for relief of bonded/child labour rehabilitation schemes." She said the State Government's letter should be treated as a letter of introduction.
The RBI director also suggested that the member banks pursue cent per cent financial inclusion on the lines of the SLBC targets in States such as Pondicherry. For the purpose, she said, the banks should take up a specific district for achieving full financial inclusions within targeted dates.
In addition, the bankers have also been called on to increase outreach through greater participation of self-help groups (SHG) and non-government organisations (NGO).
At present, about 2.25 lakh SHGs in Karnataka have been credit linked to all the banks.
Earlier, the Syndicate Bank Chairman and Managing Director, Mr C.P. Swarnkar, said during the first 11 months of the last fiscal, banks disbursed Rs 10,507 crore as farm credit in Karnataka against a target of Rs 9,912 crore.
Mr Swarnkar said the during the period banks including cooperative bank have extended financial support to 4.95 lakh new farm loan customers amounting to Rs 2,808 crore. About 2,025 SHGs have been financed Rs 12.10 crore.
He said for farmers in distress were provided funds to the extent of Rs 83.47 crore and another Rs 5.61 crore to farmers in arrears. In addition, 99 farmers were released from the clutches of moneylenders by extending financial support of Rs 40 lakh, he added.
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