‘Banks operating in J&K falling short of responsibilities’

Srinagar: Presenting a grim picture of credit dispensation in Jammu and Kashmir, banks operating in the state are yet to complete half of the set targets for priority sector lending for 2013-14 even as the financial year is about to close, the State Level Bankers Committee (SLBC) has revealed.
The 92nd SLBC meeting for the third quarter of current financial year held in Jammu on Monday also revealed that the target of 100 per cent coverage of farmers under Kissan Credit Card scheme at the end of current financial year is impossible to fulfil, as it is falling below 33 per cent of the target.
Terming the performance of the banks in the state ‘mediocre’ in achieving the Annual Credit Plan 2013-14 targets, Chief Secretary Mohammad Iqbal Khanday, who chaired the SLBC meet, said, “… over all performances indicate that banks in J&K are falling short in their responsibilities to achieve set targets, besides it also indicates a sluggish interest in lending advances.”
In priority sector lending, SLBC revealed that under agriculture sector the banks have provided credit aggregating to Rs 1,570 crore in favour of 1,31,366 beneficiaries against a target of Rs 3,212.98 crore favouring 3,91,773 beneficiaries, registering only 49 percent mark in financial terms and 34 percent mark in physical terms, during the three quarters of the year.
Under micro and small enterprises sector, banks have disbursed total amount of Rs 1,572.26 crore in favour of 55,263 beneficiaries up to the end of Q3 of the current financial year registering mark of 44 percent and 41 percent in financial and physical terms respectively.
In Education Sector banks have disbursed an amount of Rs 65.77 crore in favour of 3,763 beneficiaries during the said period.
Under housing Sector, banks have disbursed credit amounting to Rs.800.38 Crore in favour of 28,243 beneficiaries by the end of December 2013.
Priority sector lending target is the minimum requirement of credit dispensation to the sectors of prime importance for the growth of an economy (state) as per the set norms of Reserve Bank of India.
However, the banks have not performed ‘very well’ in non-priority sectors too, as per the SLBC.
Banks have disbursed Rs 3,264.22 crore to 80,792 beneficiaries thereby achieving only 53 percent of target in financial terms.
While calling for better working relationship between government departments and banks to address short falls, Khanday impressed upon the banks and Agriculture Department to put in strenuous efforts for achieving 100 per cent target by March 31.
The 92nd SLBC also reviewed the progress in setting up of Rural Self- Employment Training Institutes (RSETIs) in all 22 districts, removal of hurdles to enforce SARFAESI Act, Corporate Social Responsibility Plan/initiatives of banks, financial inclusion plan, and implementation of Electronic Benefit Transfer Scheme, branch expansion plans of banks.