Chief Minister, Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, Monday called upon premier banking institutions of the country to lend more to enterprises, especially in the agriculture, craft and small and medium enterprises (SME), keeping in view the low Credit Deposit Ratio (CDR) of 46 per cent in the state. Mufti Sayeed also raised with Reserve Bank of India (RBI) the issue of recapitalization plan of the three cooperative banks at Jammu, Anantnag and Baramulla, which are facing threat of getting de-licensed by the RBI. The state has proposed approaching NABARD to advance the state share of Rs. 139 crore as loan, paving way for capital infusion of the three cooperative banks from RBI. The Chief Minister was speaking at a luncheon meeting with the RBI Governor, Dr. Raghuram Rajan, which was also attended by the heads of leading premier banks of the country including HDFC, ICICI, PNB and the Canara Bank. The RBI Governor convened a special SLBC at SKICC in the summer capital, pursuant to his commitment made to the Chief Minister in May, earlier this year. Minister for Finance, Dr. Haseeb A. Drabu, Advisor to the Chief Minister, Prof. Amitabh Mattoo, Chief Secretary, B. R. Sharma, Principal Secretary to Chief Minister, B. B. Vyas and Commissioner / Secretary, Finance, Navin Chaudhary, were also present on the occasion. Placing high priority upon improving credit-deposit ratio to RBI benchmark of 60 per cent, the Chief Minister impressed upon Dr. Rajan the need for improved lending by premier banks in the state with focus on agriculture, handicraft and SME sectors. This, he said, will boost the CD ratio and bring it at par with RBI level. Asking the banks to increase their credit flow in housing and education sectors, the Chief Minister particularly stressed upon advancing loans for restructuring of orchards for high-density farming as well as laying of agriculture infrastructure like setting up of CA stores, van chains and packing and grading lines. “Horticulture is our mainstay. The government is planning major interventions in replacing old orchards with high-density plantations to improve returns, quality and production,” he told the participants. Highlighting the need for opening more branches in the remote areas of the state to ensure 100 per cent financial inclusion, Mufti Sayeed also stressed upon bank heads to take a lead in helping business enterprises across board to start afresh, after massive damage caused to their businesses by unprecedented floods last year. On the issue of recovery of loans, which may have gone bad from defaulters, Commissioner / Secretary Finance informed the Chief Minister that the government has framed a committee to draw legislation for separate Act to enable recovery of defaulted loans. The Chief Minister also called upon the financial institutions to recruit local youth in the branches operating within the state and broaden the scope of its CSR operations.
2015 Kashmir Despatch