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HP govt tells banks to advance loans in priority sector

Archana Phull | Shimla |

The Himachal Pradesh government on Friday asked the banks to come forward to advance loans in priority sector areas so that initiatives of the government in social security and development became fruitful in Himachal Pradesh.

"Banking system is important in giving thrust to economic activities,” said Additional Chief Secretary, Finance Dr Shrikant Baldi while presiding over state level Bankers Committee meeting here.

He expressed concern over declining credit deposit ratio of banks in the state and asked bankers to identify growth areas and mobilise investment so that pace of development was accelerated, to the benefit of masses.

Baldi expressed apprehension that out of 8 lakh Kisan Credit Cards only 2.4 lakh were active. He asked bankers to motivate farmers to use and avail benefits of Kisan Credit Cards (KCC) by holding camps in rural areas. Rs 9,266 Crore have been disbursed under KCC to farmers since inception of the Scheme in the state, he said.

He asked banks to arrange Point of Sale (POS) terminals in government offices, hospitals and public utility services in order to reduce dependency on cash, and to promote cashless transactions in the state.

Baldi said that Rs 9,823 Crore had been disbursed so far under annual credit plan 2016-17 upto December in the state with achievement of 82 per cent in priority sector activities. He asked bankers to enlist reasons for rejection and pendency of advances in priority sector areas and social security schemes.

Additional Chief Secretary, Arvind Mehta asked banks to fund micro irrigation schemes in rural areas to boost economic activities in villages.