| Manik Sarkar |
Agartala, Jan. 17: Tripura chief minister Manik Sarkar has expressed his “deep disappointment” over the “poor” credit-deposit ratio maintained by banks in Tripura and called for higher investments by banks in the state.
“Currently, the national credit-deposit ratio is 78 per cent but in Tripura it stands at only 33 per cent. The leading bank in the state, United Bank of India (UBI), has a slightly higher credit-deposit ratio of 39 per cent. This is disappointing to say the least, especially because loans and advances given by banks to the primary sector of the economy — agriculture — is very dismal,” said the chief minister.
He made these comments at the Najrul Kalakshetra yesterday during a programme where UBI CMD Archana Bhargab flagged off 10 more branches in the state.
With the new branches launched at Panisagar in North Tripura, Baikhora, Hrishyamukh, Manu Bazar, Barpathuri in South Tripura, Akhaura Road, Kempere Bazar, Dhaleshwar, Maharajganj Bazar and Barjala in Agartala town, the number of UBI branches in the state has grown to 64.
Addressing the gathering of UBI officers and employees, the chief minister appreciated the initiative and urged UBI authorities to ensure recruitment of adequate staff to properly serve the people.
However, Sarkar deplored the fact that out of every Rs 100 collected from the state, the banks were lending back only Rs 33. “This is regrettable because banks are repatriating capital from the state. They certainly don’t sit idle on the money collected but (most of it) is invested outside the state. The people of Tripura are thus being deprived,” Sarkar said.
He said the economic status of the people of the state had undergone a positive change and people were saving money in banks, but the banking sector was not doing its duty to the people.
Sarkar also called on banks to lend more to farmers in the state under the Kisan Credit Card scheme. “This year the banks had a target of giving loans to 1 lakh agriculturists under the KCC scheme. So far, 66,000 people have been covered and I hope by the end of the financial year, the pending applications will also be cleared.”
At the end of the programme, loans between Rs 25,000 and Rs 7 lakh were disbursed to one customer from each of the 10 newly-opened branches. While giving away the sanction letters to the borrowers, the chief minister appealed to all the customers to ensure timely repayment of all loans to enable the banks to sanction more loans.
“We now have 288 branches of nationalised, rural-regional and private banks in the state but I would request UBI authorities to raise their number of branches in Tripura from 64 to at least 100, so that the entire state is covered by the banking net,” the chief minister said.
In her speech, UBI CMD Archana Bhargab assured the chief minister that all efforts would be made to expand the UBI network in Tripura.