24 May 2012

SIDBI to explore the possibilities of increasing credit flow to small and enmicro terprises (SME) sector


Dehradun, 24 May:
Various important decisions were taken in the State Level Bankers Meeting attended by Finance Minister Dr. Indira Hridayesh, Governor, Reserve Bank of India Dr. D Subbarao and the bankers on Thursday at Mussoorie.
Keeping in view the skewed distribution of bank branches in hilly areas, the RBI Governor requested the State Government and the banks to prepare an action plan to improve banking penetration, especially in hilly areas. He assured that if there were any hurdles in terms of regulatory dispensation in achieving the objective of financial inclusion, the Reserve Bank would consider them sympathetically.
The State Government, banks, NABARD and SIDBI agreed to prepare an annual action plan, beginning July 2012 with quarterly milestones to be achieved, to increase the Credit Deposit Ratio in five districts in a period of one year to around 35 per cent.
         Banks would meet their branch managers along with SIDBI to explore the possibilities of increasing credit flow to small and enmicro terprises (SME) sector, they being the main drivers of growth.
       The Governor requested the state Government to consider including financial literacy as part of school curriculum.
Finance Minister Dr. Indira Hridayesh said that the State Government had taken several measures to increase investment in the state. She apprised the RBI Governor that only 1668 banks were available in total 15761 villages in Uttarakhand and out of them only 837 were in rural areas. Stating that lots of migration was taking place from hilly areas, Dr. Hridayesh stressed that it was necessary to generate employment opportunities in hill areas to check migration. As per the set standard of RBI a bank branch could be open only in places where population was more than 1000. She said that this standard ought to be relaxed in the context of Uttarakhand as the population here was scattered and more than 80 percent villages were with population less than 500 and 50 percent of them had population less than 200. Dr. Hridayesh said that it was necessary for the development of the village that every farmer was in possession of a Kisan Credit Card and every family had a bank account. She said that only 88891 Kisan Credit Cards had been issued as against set target of 2 lakh.
The Finance Minister drew attention of RBI Governor towards great difference in CDR between hill and plain areas. She revealed that where Udham Singh Nagar (Plain) had 128 per cent, Pauri (Hill) had only 25 per cent. Stating that villagers were deprived of loans owing to non-possession of land or any type of guarantee with them, Dr. Hridayesh urged the Governor to direct the banks to encourage Joint Liability Group (JLG). She pointed out that women could play important role in financial activities.
Chief Secretary Alok Kumar Jain said that water, forest, forestry, animal husbandry was the main sources of earning for the people of Uttarakhand. He said since the formation of state, the overall CDR had increased to 52 per cent. The State government is trying to increase CDR in hill areas also, he said. Mr. Jain said that all the districts had been directed to take steps to increase CDR.
Also present on the occasion were Principal Secretary Finance DK Mittal, RBI Deputy Governor Dr. Subir Gokarn, Anand Sinha, Executive Director US Das, Chief Finance Advisor Dr. Kaushik, Principal Secretary Industry Rakesh Kumar, Principal Secretary Revenue Om Prakash, Secretary Finance Radha Raturi, Secretary to Chief Minister MH Khan, Secretary Cooperative PS Gusain and Secretary Food and Supply Subardhan.

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