The National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) has estimated a credit potential of Rs 1,936.37 crore for Meghalaya under priority sector lending for the year 2019-20, an official said on Wednesday. The 2019-20 estimation of Rs 1,936.37 crore holds a lot of significance for cash-strapped Meghalaya which has been largely a credit-deficient state with a consistently low credit-deposit ratios ranging between 30-32 per cent year after year.
Chief Secretary Y Tshering, who launched the 2019-20 State Focus Paper (SFP) for Meghalaya, urged the banking sector to rise to the challenge and ensure that individual comprehensive plans are drawn to achieve the targets in a time-bound manner. He congratulated NABARD for having finalized the plan much ahead of the deadline and hoped that the banking sector will show a better performance.
The SFP exercise is a culmination of the credit planning exercise which begins at district level, undertaken by the district development managers of NABARD in close coordination with multiple stakeholders like state government departments, banks, NGOs and farmer groups. Voicing satisfaction with the multiple development schemes and missions launched by the Meghalaya government over the last one year, Tshering stressed the fact that the credit-fuelled growth narrative has bypassed large chunks of farming communities in the state and that remedial action is an absolute call of the hour.
Major components of the 2019-20 SFP are Rs 595.10 crore for crop loans, Rs 387.93 crore for agriculture term loans, Rs 714.93 crore for Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises sector and Rs 238.41 crore for other priority sector comprising rural housing and education loans. Bemoaning the consistently low credit-deposit ratio in Meghalaya, Officer-in-Charge, Meghalaya Regional Office of NABARD, Y.K.Rao said that there was a clear and definite need for the entire banking sector in Meghalaya to focus on primary sectors first. "Credit to farmers, self-help groups, joint liability groups, small agriculture term loans, rural housing, small transport vehicle loans were the need of the hour," he said.
(With inputs from agencies.)