Make Positive Interventions To Empower Agriculture – CM To Banks

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In the 191st meeting of the SLBC of Andhra Pradesh here in Vijayawada, Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu reprimanded bankers for their non-cooperation in extending credit to farmers and highlighted the need for sensitizing bankers.

Expressing anguish over the spurt of farmer suicides in the state, the Chief Minister said that bankers have been adamant and have been showing the government in bad light despite the government extending debt redemption scheme and making capital infusion for the welfare of farmers in the state.

“Andhra Pradesh cannot have farmer suicides. We need to be sensitive to their problems. Lack of viability of commercial crops, defunct pumpsets are some of the main reasons. We need to bring down debts and for this, we need cooperation of bankers. Every farmer should be able to carry out agriculture without debts,” he added.

Crop insurance has become a major problem in the state. Despite farmers paying premiums, they are not able to insure their crops. “Hence, we need to prepare a vulnerability index and sort issues district-wise,” the Chief Minister explained.

“Set up a sub-committee that will work with Rythu Saadhikaratha Samithis in villages, will asses and set growth targets based on the estimates. This group will also encourage bankers to motivate their employees, build capacities and enhance skills. They should in-turn educate and motivate farmers in generating economic activity rather than farmers ending up borrowing beyond their capacity and eventually not repaying the loan,” he said.

The Chief Minister also expressed his dissatisfaction with bankers lagging in technological advancement. He sought information on how many banks do not have Core Banking Solutions and why they have not been able to digitise their data completely.

“Using technology will propagate your services and make work easy. Cloud computing and analytics will play a key role in the BFSI sector. This will also help you predict your performance,” the Chief Minister explained.

At this juncture, the Chief Minister directed all banks to make Intra-operability facility available in the state within 3 months, before the next SLBC meeting.

Bankers are also instructed to link all welfare schemes to RuPay card. “The state government’s departments data will be online. Taking help of this data, you can roll out money for welfare schemes,” he said.

The next phase will be to make transactions through mobile. However, the Chief Minister said that mobile transactions will begin in Krishna District from this month.

“Further, operationalize Jan Dhan and Rupay Cards immediately. After you obtain the data, do not merely restrict yourself to numbers, but focus on calculating the savings in the state and how this will boost our income growth. The savings data can also be compared with that of the other state. That way, we can find ways to generate economic activity,” the Chief Minister added.

Stating that there are gaps in the system, the Chief Minister directed bankers, the finance department and the planning department to hold a monthly meeting to sort out all the problems faced by bankers.

While rolling out MUDRA loans to MSMEs, the Chief Minister asked bankers not to carry this out in isolation but work with the welfare department and sensitize customers in using the money as productive expenditure.

In order to revive MSMEs in the state, the Chief Minister asked bankers to prepare a report in a month’s time underlining the steps to boost the sector.

Highlighting the poor performance in meeting targets in the MSME sector, the Chief Minister said that an analytical exercise should be carried out to give a push to the sector.

The Chief Minister elaborated on the state government’s double-digit growth target, adding that the government has identified 40 growth engines to drive the growth of the economy. They include 23 from Primary Sector, 6 from Secondary Sector and 11 from Tertiary Sector, he explained.

Stating that the state’s GDP has crossed the country’s GDP, the Chief Minister told bankers to shun their “business as usual” approach and work in an analytical approach by identifying performance indicators.

“Work in a scientific way. Finance is crucial in every sector. The way bankers should work is….You need to check whether the GSDP contribution of agriculture matches the facts with lending in agriculture sector and how lending should be increased organically to boost this sector. Similar exercise should be done for allied activities such as livestock, dairy and fisheries,” he added.

During the meeting, Minister Ravella Kishore Babu informed the Chief Minister that subsidy is being given before loans are being released. This is making customers utilize the subsidy and eventually, leading to non-payment of loans. “Hence, loans should be given before subsidy,” he added.

Responding to this, the Chief Minister said that all the subsidy amount should be extended for economic activity. “All corporations like Minority, SC, ST, etc should give benefits for economic activity only,” he added.

The Chief Minister also asked bankers and the government to bring DWCRA women, farmers’ groups and (SC, ST, BC and Minority) welfare beneficiaries under the Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojana (PMSBY) and synchronize all these accounts with Aadhar.

To save farmers from drought, the Chief Minister also suggested the SLBC to prepare a report on overcoming the dry spell and suggest solutions.

Meanwhile, the Chief Minister also reviewed the status of debt redemption for farmers and asked them to sort out all issues in rolling out debt redemption. “In the next three months, I’ll tour villages and seek feedback. I want all problems to be sorted. My ultimate goal is to making agriculture a sustainable and profitable vocation.”

Minister Ravella Kishore Babu, State Planning Board Vice-chairman Ch. Kutumba Rao, Principal Secretary (Finance) PV Ramesh, Principal Secretary (Industries) SS Rawat, heads of other departments as well as members of the SLBC were present.

Source – AP CMO



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