Public Sector Banks Mission to Increase Footprint and Improve Priority Sector Lending at JK – Kashmir Reader

JAMMU: Chief Secretary Dr Arun Kumar Mehta and Reserve Bank of India Deputy Governor MP Jain co-chaired the “J&K UT Level Bankers Committee Special Meeting” on Friday to review measures taken by banks to improve credit flows to J&K UT.
Additional Chief Secretary, Finance Department, Chairman NABARD, Regional Director, Reserve Bank of India, MD & CEO J&K Bank, Director, DFS, MoF (GoI), and other senior government officials, RBI, NABARD and banks joined the meeting which took place in virtual mode.
The chief secretary said the concerted efforts of all stakeholders should be aimed at developing Jammu and Kashmir as a model entity. He said that in addition to the agriculture and horticulture sectors, there is huge potential in other sectors such as tourism, hospitality, food processing, floriculture, IT industry. , medical tourism, infrastructure and real estate, hydroelectricity, the film sector, looms and crafts in the territory of the Union.
Dr Mehta argued that with the collective efforts of government and banks, J & K’s economy, which is currently around Rs 1.80 Lac Crore, can be increased to Rs 3.60 Lac Crore over the course of five coming years.
Noting that the digitization of land registers in J&K has been completed and access to the land registers is available online, the chief secretary urged banks to expedite loans with a quick and hassle-free verification of the registers.
Dr Mehta said the J&K government is committed to reducing the unemployment rate in J&K to less than 5% and, as such, has ordered banks to provide bank facilities in identified villages that are not covered. ‘by March 31, 2022.
The chief secretary urged public sector banks to increase lending activity in J&K UT and assured them of all necessary government support.
RBI Deputy Governor appreciated J&K Bank’s role in facilitating access to banking services in UT and urged other banks to increase their presence with emphasis on increasing correspondent network banks in addition to intensifying lending activities at J&K. He called on banks to engage in dialogue to attract more non-bank financial corporations (NBFCs) and micro-financial institutions (MFIs) to the Union territory in order to create a co-lending environment.
He called on banks to improve lending to priority sectors and job creation programs aimed at poverty reduction and social improvement. He urged banks to make concerted efforts to achieve the targets set under the annual credit plan. He said that there is immense potential in the agriculture and horticulture sectors at J&K and that banks must take steps to tap the same.
While expressing his satisfaction with the increase in UT’s CD ratio from 48.28% in March 2020 to 56.60% in November 2021, he expressed his concerns regarding the persistent CD ratio in the region of Jammu.
Deputy Governor, RBI urged banks and industry associations to join hands in raising awareness of MSME programs in addition to providing support to entrepreneurs to start their businesses.
While appreciating NABARD’s efforts in formulating a five-year Rs 25,991 crore development package for J&K UT in consultation with the J&K government, he said NABARD should continue to help government in rural infrastructure development in J&K UT.

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