Outsource farm loan processing jobs: Rangarajan

Kolkata, Nov 12 | Updated: Nov 13 2005, 05:30am hrs
A grumpy manager in a rural bank branch is the last thing the economy needs to promote greater penetration of credit among the farmers. If he has to bother about the trouble of checking out a marginal tillers credit-worthiness, he might as well outsource the job, according to the chairman of the Economic Advisory Council to the prime minister, C Rangarajan.

According to him, a critical factor required for providing credit to marginal and sub-marginal farmers is the empathy of the bank officer, who needs to build a relationship with his clientele. Unfortunately, a study done in Madhya Pradesh found out a fairly high level of dissatisfaction in the rural branch officials, with regard to their work situation. The dissatisfaction is high among managers with an urban background, according to Mr Rangarajan, whose speech was read out at BanCon 2005 in his absence.

The dissatisfaction level for managers with less than 15 years experience was more negative than those with longer service. A positive correlation was observed between the extent of training undergone by the managers and their overall attitude, the speech said.

Apart from the need for empathy, rural branches must go beyond providing credit and extend a helping hand, in terms of advice, on a wide variety of matters relating to agriculture.

The agricultural officer must provide services that will help in making agriculture an integrated activity with appropriate backward and forward linkages through providing farm advisory services, it added. According to Mr Rangarajan, banks can reduce the transaction cost of carrying out the job of a business facilitator by outsourcing to an existing institution.