Chief minister Hemant Soren has urged banks operating out of Jharkhand to be more forthcoming in providing fiscal assistance to people in the post-lockdown era to help revive ailing sectors of the economy.
Speaking at a seminar on state credit organised by NABARD here on Thursday, Hemant suggested that the banking sector plough back a major part of profits earned from the state into its development.
Citing an example of poor financial assistance to farmers, he said, “In the 2020-21 fiscal year, I have learnt that Rs 2,033 crore was given to around 65,000 farmers in the form of loans. There is immense scope for improvement in this sector. In neighbouring Bengal, banks have dished out around Rs 7,000 crore in loans. Geographically, both Jharkhand and Bengal are almost similar, and have identical challenges in terms of agriculture. But credit linkages there are better vis-à-vis ours.”
Hemant said that considering the global pandemic that has derailed every sector and halted growth, both banks and respective governments would have to come on board with a common agenda of creating sustainable development.
“I believe all major banks who earn profits from this state should now spend a major portion of their earnings towards development here. Just giving a day’s square meal (ration) to the poor isn’t enough. We have to help people grow so that they can stand on their own, create opportunities for others and not just remain dependent on welfare schemes,” he said.
NABARD also presented its state focus paper for 2021-22 in which it has assessed a credit flow potential to the tune of Rs 28,643.64 crore under different priority sectors to enhance farm income. Some of the priority sectors identified for the coming fiscal included agriculture, MSME, education, housing, social infrastructure, renewable energy, among others.
A.K. Padhi, chief general manager, NABARD-Jharkhand, said that the focus for 2021-22 should be on collectivisation of agricultural produce for enhancing farmers’ income.
“The Union government’s target of doubling farmers’ income by 2022 can be achieved only through collectivization of agriculture products. Due to the highly fragmented, scattered and heterogeneous nature of landholdings, rising cost of cultivation, poor market infrastructure, climate change, etc agriculture today is less profitable. Only by collectivisation of agricultural produce, value addition and collective marketing by setting up of farmer producers’ organisation (FPO) can we be able to achieve that goal,” he said.