Inclusive growth is a challenge: FM

Inclusive growth is a challenge: FM

Agri credit will exceed Rs 3.75 lakh cr

Inclusive growth is a challenge: FM

Addressing a function to mark the 10th anniversary of Corporation Bank, Mukherjee said, financial Inclusion is an important priority of the government as only 38 per cent (32,919) of the 87,051 bank branches of scheduled commercial banks are in rural areas and only 40 per cent of country’s population has bank accounts.

Stating there are about 600,000 villages in India, while only 32,919 rural bank branches, he said, in order to address this, the Centre had in 2010-11 directed all banks to provide appropriate banking facilities to habitations having population in excess of 2,000 by March, 2012, using various models and technologies including branchless banking, through Business Correspondents (BCs).

Further, he said, loan disbursement to agriculture sector was likely to exceed the target of Rs 3.75 lakh crore in the current fiscal. “Agriculture lending, particularly short-term crop lending, is doing exceedingly well,” he said, adding 2010-11 (current fiscal), I fixed a target of Rs 3,75,000 crore and I am confident, because by December I have already reached Rs 3 lakh crore, it will be possible to exceed the target of Rs 3,75,000 crore. The short-term credit target for 2009-10 was Rs 3,25,000 crore, which exceeded to Rs 3,91,000 crore, he said. For 2011-12, the Centre has fixed a target of Rs 4.75 lakh crore, he said.

Mukherjee said since 2006-07, the Centre is also providing interest subvention to all public sector banks, regional rural banks and cooperative banks for short-term crop loans up to Rs 3 lakh, to ensure that short-term agriculture credit is available at 7 per cent to farmers.

From 2010-11, an additional 2 per cent interest subvention is being provided to those farmers, who repay their short-term crop loans in time, he added. Thus, short-term crop credit is available to farmers at 5 per cent in 2010-11. In 2011-12, the interest subvention scheme proposes to further incentivise prompt repayment by farmers by providing a further incentive of 3 per cent interest subvention, he said.

Corp Bank opens 275 biz outlets

Corporation Bank, on Saturday, opened 275 business outlets (consisting of branches, ATMs and branch-less banking facilities),  Heritage Museum and Financial Research Centre at Udupi, the bank’s birthplace. These were electronically opened by Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee from New Delhi.

The museum and the centre would showcase the evolution of banking in Karnataka in general and Corporation Bank in particular. A financial inclusion resource centre, financial literacy and credit counselling ccentre, Corporation Bank — commonwealth youth enterprise financing Centre and an auditorium, are part of the museum & financial centre.