Public Sector Banks directed to increase footprints, improve lending to Priority Sector in JK

JAMMU: The Chief Secretary, Dr. Arun Kumar Mehta and Deputy Governor Reserve Bank of India, M. K. Jain Friday co- chaired the “Special Meeting of J&K UT Level Bankers’ Committee” to review the measures taken by banks in enhancing the flow of credit in UT of J&K.
Additional Chief Secretary, Finance Department, Chairman NABARD, Regional Director, Reserve Bank of India, MD & CEO J&K Bank, Director, DFS, MoF (GoI), and other senior functionaries of the Government, RBI, NABARD and banks joined the meeting which was held in virtual mode.
The Chief Secretary said that concerted efforts from all stakeholders should be aimed at developing Jammu and Kashmir as a model entity. He said that besides agriculture and horticulture sectors, there is huge potential in other sectors like Tourism, Hospitality, Food processing, Floriculture, IT Industry, Medical Tourism, Infrastructure & Real Estate, Hydropower, Film Sector, Handlooms and Handicrafts in the Union territory.
Dr. Mehta maintained that with the collective efforts of the Government and banks, the economy of J&K, which is presently at around Rs.1.80 Lac Crore, can be scaled up to Rs 3.60 Lac Crore within next five years.
Informing that digitization of land records in J&K has been completed and access to land records has been made available online, the Chief Secretary impressed upon banks to expedite lending by hassle-free and expeditious verification of records.
Dr. Mehta stated that J&K Government is committed to lower the un-employment rate in J&K to below 5% mark , and as such, directed banks to provide banking facilities in identified uncovered villages by 31st March 2022.
The Chief Secretary urged upon the Public Sector Banks to increase the credit activity in UT of J&K and assured them of all necessary support from the Government.
The Deputy Governor, RBI appreciated the role of J&K Bank in providing ease of access to banking services in the UT and urged upon other banks to increase their foot prints with focus on augmenting banking correspondent network besides scaling up credit activities in J&K. He directed banks to initiate dialogue for bringing in more Non-Banking Financial Companies (NBFCs) and Micro Financial Institutions (MFIs) to the Union territory for creating an environment of co-lending.
He directed banks to improve lending to priority sector and employment generation schemes meant for poverty alleviation and social upliftment. He urged upon the banks to make concerted efforts to achieve the targets set under the Annual Credit Plan. He stated that there is immense potential in agriculture and horticulture Sectors in J&K and banks need to initiate measures to tap the same.
While expressing satisfaction over the increase in CD Ratio of UT from 48.28% on March 2020 to 56.60% on November 2021, he stated expressed concern on the persistently low CD Ratio of Jammu region.
Deputy Governor, RBI impressed upon the banks and Industrial Associations to join hands for creating awareness on MSME schemes besides providing handholding to entrepreneurs to start their ventures.
While appreciating the efforts of NABARD for formulating five year development package of Rs.25,991 Crore for UT of J&K in consultation with Government of J&K, he stated that NABARD should continue to assist the Government in development of rural infrastructure in UT of J&K.

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