Banking Sector initiatives To Boost Agrarian Economy
The State Government in close coordination with banking sector has taken various initiatives to boost agrarian economy by extending liberal credit facilities to farmers in the State. Awareness campaign has been launched by member banks in association with Agriculture and Horticulture departments to popularize ‘Kisan Credit Card’ scheme.
Banks have come forward to provide lending facility to farmers in a big way under this scheme to meet out their short term credit needs of crops cultivation etc. More than 1.62 lakh farmers have availed credit facility of Rs. 3000 crore under this scheme during last year.
The State Government with the help of NABARD has laid special emphasis on increasing the investment credit to the Agriculture sector keeping in view the importance of this sector in the State economy. District wise potential linked credit plans have been prepared according to the local potential available in the area.
The selection of farm linked activities has been made after wide consultation with the stakeholders. Rs. 22390 crore potential linked credit plan has been approved for the financial year 2018-19.
Various banks under their financial inclusion campaign, have opened about 10.30 lakh ‘Pradhan Mantri Jandhan Accounts’ and about 11.60 lakh account holders have been enrolled under ‘Pradhan Mantra Suraksha Bima Yojna’. More than 90 percent accounts have been seeded with Aadhar number in the state.
Keeping in view the role of Aadhar in Digital India Programme, about 167 Aadhar Enrolment and Updation Centres have been proposed to be opened in selected branches in the State. Efforts are being made to ensure activation of such identified centres in a time bound manner.
At present, banks have network of 2128 branches in the State and about 1937 ATM’s are providing facilities to the customers. Efforts are being made to increase the number of ATM’s so that people of rural area can be facilitated. About 2000 ‘Bank Mitras’ have been deployed by various banks to provide banking services in remote areas where opening of bank branches is not feasible.
Keeping in view the importance of Agriculture sector in the state economy, NABARD has laid special emphasis on increasing the investment credit under the Agriculture sector. The proportion of investment credit in total agriculture loans is nearly 30 percent in Himachal Pradesh and efforts are being made to increase the investment credit in this sector upto 40 percent.
To safeguard the interests of farmers ‘Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojna’ and restructured Weather Based Crop Insurance Scheme have been made more effective and uploading of detail of all the farmers has been made mandatory and time bound to avoid any inconvenience to the affected farmers.
State Government has made adequate provisions in the budget for development of Agriculture and Horticulture sectors and important schemes have been announced for giving thrust on self employment generation in farming sector.
These efforts in Agriculture sector will boost the agrarian economy and help the farmers to double their income by the year 2022.