At the State Level Bankers Committee (SLBC) meeting on Wednesday to announce the state annual plan for 2019-20, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis expressed displeasure at the financial institution’s failure to cross 54 per cent target in disbursement of crop credit to farmers in the state.
The state government approved the annual state credit plan of Rs 4.24 lakh crore for 2019-20 that also included Rs 87,322 crore for the agriculture sector. In 2018-19, the state government had approved Rs 58,319 crore for crop loans. The directives to financial institutions was to meet 90 to 95 per cent target.
Fadnavis, in an official statement, said, “All the decisions that are taken at the SLBC meetings are not meant for completing the formalities. The banks are expected to implement the decisions. There has to be an explanation why the credit flow in the agriculture sector is so low at 54 per cent. Why are farmers who are seeking financial assistance being deprived of the funds? What justifies the low credit flow in agriculture sector when farmers are in distress?”
“The weak agriculture sector adversely impacts the overall GDP growth and socio-economic development. Therefore, banks should show more sensitivity towards the agriculture sector,” said the chief minister.
He also said the farmers could not be driven away. Instead, financial institutions should tackle their problems and address them with financial assistance within given norms, he added. The meeting assumes significance ahead of the kharif season that begins in mid-June, when farmers take fresh loans for sowing.