The National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) has prepared estimates for Rs. 48,176 crore for priority sector lending in Telangana State during 2015-16. It is 20 per cent higher than the allocation for the priority sector in the State’s current annual credit plan.
It includes Rs. 25,780 crore for crop loans, Rs. 9,400 crore for agriculture term loans, Rs. 5,554 crore to micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) sector and Rs. 7,441 crore to other priority sector lending. The credit plan estimates were released by Finance Minister E. Rajender at a State credit seminar convened by NABARD here on Friday.
Speaking after releasing the plan Mr. Rajender said agriculture could be made remunerative by providing irrigation and proper marketing facilities. Suicides by farmers had become a cause of concern in spite of the government giving priority to agriculture sector, the minister said adding that it was the responsibility of bankers to be practical while lending the sector in terms of scale of finance, for construction of godowns, greenhouses and restoration of minor irrigation tanks.
Stressing the need to revise the scale of finance and remodel crop insurance schemes, Minister for Irrigation T. Harish Rao said farmers were taking loans from more than one bank as the borrowing was not sufficient for cultivation. Some farmers were taking loans for one crop and cultivating another due to lower scale of finance and in the process losing on crop insurance benefits.
He requested the NABARD to provide Rs. 1,000 crore additional funding for restoration of tanks and thanked it for agreeing to lend Rs. 1,000 crore over the next three years for creating storage space for 21 lakh metric tonnes. The State also required one-lakh MT cold storage facility to reduce its 75 per cent dependency on other States for vegetables, he noted.
Mr. Harish Rao suggested NABARD to encourage agriculture-allied sectors to improve sustainability of farming and drive away distress from farmers due to which they were committing suicides. Minister for Agriculture P. Srinivas Reddy observed that some banks were delaying renewal of crop loans due to their confusion over the farm loan waiver scheme.
Chief General Manager of NABARD Jiji Mammen said the credit estimates would serve as the basis for preparing annual credit plan.
Source: The Hindu