Despite the “farm distress” in the state, banks operating in Gujarat have disbursed crop loans worth Rs 31,550 crore to around 16.92 lakh bank accounts of the farmers in the first six months of the financial year 2017-18. The disbursals amount to 71 per cent of Rs 44,440 crore that the banks targeted to disburse as crop loans during the fiscal 2017-18. Out of this, in eight districts in six months the banks disbursed more than 100 per cent of their targeted annual disbursements.
In the corresponding period in the last fiscal 2016-17, only 84 per cent of the targeted crop loans could be disbursed and by September 2016, only three districts had achieved more than 100 per cent disbursal. Vikramaditya Singh Khichi, convenor of SLBC, Gujarat while talking about the SLBC meeting that was held on Thursday said, “Crop loans are a major component of agricultural loans. Traditionally in Gujarat, the disbursement of these loans is more in the first half of the year.”
According to a State-Level Bankers’ Committee (SLBC) report made public on Thursday the highest disbursements till the end of September 2017 were made in Dangs district where banks gave out 169 per cent crop loans. The other districts to exceed their annual targets are Aravali (101%), Kutch (128%), Porbandar (139%), Gir Somnath (105%), Morbi (103%), Devbhoomi Dwarka (113%) and Jamnagar (115%).
Among 33 districts in the state, the poor performers were Valsad with only 19 per cent of the annual targeted disbursals, followed by Surat (25%) and Navsari (28%). In the flood-affected Banaskantha and Patan districts, the crop loan disbursements till the end of September stood at 60 per cent and 68 per cent, respectively.
Taking into account individual banks, IDBI disbursed the maximum crop loans in Gujarat clocking around 144 per cent of it annual targeted disbursal. Similarly, private banks like Yes Bank and RBL surpassed their annual targets in just six months with 107 per cent and 104 per cent disbursals, respectively.
These figures from the banking sector have come at a time when Gujarat Chief Secretary J N Singh on Thursday claimed that “farm distress” in the state was one of the reasons why BJP’s vote margin had reduced in the just concluded state Assembly elections. Even though the BJP won 99 seats in the state, its chances were badly affected in the rural seats of Saurashtra and North Gujarat. For the current fiscal 2017-18, banks in Gujarat have targeted to disburse over Rs 65,502 crore loans to farmers in the state which includes crop loans and agriculture term loans.