PSBs disburse over Rs 50,000 crore agricultural credit in June-September

Mumbai, Oct 28 | Updated: Oct 29 2004, 06:01am hrs
Its certainly a piece of good news for the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government. Of the total agricultural credit target of Rs 1,05,000 crore by end of 2004-05, the public sector banks (PSBs), co-operative banks and regional rural banks (RRBs) already disbursed over Rs 50,000 crore, during June-September this year.

The National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development, (Nabard) along with Indian Banks Association (IBA), has convened a meeting to take stock of the happenings, with PSBs representatives on November 1 in Mumbai.

Sources told FE that RBI may be represented by a senior official at the meeting, which would firm up the future strategy to maintain the same tempo in the remaining period of the current fiscal.

This is a prelude to the review meeting to be convened soon by the finance minister, a source added.

Sources said that the lending for rabi season and investment in agriculture and allied activities would show a rise in the days to come.

Of the total target of Rs 1,05,000 crore, PSBs are expected to disburse Rs 57,000 crore co-operative banks (Rs 39,000 crore) and RRBs (Rs 8,500 crore).

These targets were given to the banks after finance minister P Chidambaram declared the Central governments resolve to hike the agri credit to Rs 1,05,000 crore in June.

At the meeting convened by Nabard and IBA on June 22, the PSBs had arrived at a consensus that their target of Rs 57,000 crore could be achieved. This would represent a growth of 30% over the flow of agricultural credit during the previous year.

Subsequently, PSBs, which had projected a growth of less than 30%, took the necessary steps to revise their target according to the Central government package.

Sources said that PSBs, cooperatives and RRBs are expected to increase the credit flow, especially in the rabi season. There are 33,039 branches of scheduled commercial banks, while RRBs have 14,051 of such branches.

These outlets were fully energised to enhance the flow of agricultural credit, sources said.