Vijayawada: Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy asked bankers to concentrate on providing loans to tenant farmers, who were legally cultivating crops after taking lands on lease.
He said that the country’s GDP fell to 7.25 per cent in 2020-21 due to the Corona crisis but it could be limited to 2.58 per cent in Andhra Pradesh due to the cooperation extended by bankers, who rose to the occasion. He sought bankers to appoint banking correspondents in all Rythu Bharosa Kendras (RBK) under the e-cropping process.
Speaking at the 216th State Level Bankers Committee (SLBC) meeting here on Thursday, the Chief Minister said that the State’s economy slumped due to Covid-19, which damaged the entire public distribution system and employment. He stated that the overall term loans were down by Rs 3,237 crore compared to last year, and credit to the agriculture sector declined by 1.32 per cent.
Reddy exhorted bankers to pay special attention to providing loans to tenant farmers, as the government has provided Crop Cultivator Right Cards (CCRC) to almost 4,91,330 tenant farmers, who are enrolled with e-cropping. The government confirms that they are tenant farmers with CCRC cards and also verifies the crops they are cultivating through e-cropping.
He said that there are 10,778 RBKs across the State that support farmers from seed to crop sale. E-cropping is linked not only to CCRC cards, but also to interest-free loans, input subsidies and insurance, and thus provides substantial security for loans extended by banks.
On placing banking correspondents in RBKs, the Chief Minister appreciated the bankers committee for appointing 6,538 correspondents in RBKs. He said that providing ATM facility, credit card, internet provision and online banking is not complete digitisation, as it can only be complete when these correspondents become bankers to the villagers.
The whole system needs to be integrated with the banking sector so as to make Andhra Pradesh as a role-model for other states, he said, and added that bankers should consider RBKs as their own.
He said the state government brought in the Cheyutha scheme to empower women belonging to SC, ST and BC categories and minorities. He said an assistance of Rs 75,000 over a period of four years will be provided to women beneficiaries in four equal annual installments of Rs 18,750 each. He asked the bankers to also concentrate on this programme and help women create assets from the money thus provided.
The Chief Minister said that housesites were distributed to 31 lakh women and construction of 10 lakh houses has already started. He said that the target was set to complete 15 lakh houses in the first phase. He said the beneficiaries of houses are also members of self-help groups and urged bankers to provide Rs 35,000 loan to each of them for constructing their own houses.
Jagan Mohan Reddy said that 9.05 lakh small traders benefited through Jagananna Thodu scheme. The state government has been bearing interest for these loans.
The Chief Minister asked the bankers to take new applications every six months and provide loans to those eligible. He also asked the bankers to support MSMEs across the state.