Bhubaneswar: Agriculture and Farmers’ Empowerment Minster Arun Sahoo on Wednesday stressed on increasing the financial credit of commercial banks to agriculture sector in the state.
Speaking at a meeting with bankers on credit linkage, Sahoo said as per Reserve Bank of India (RBI) guidelines, the banks should extend 18% of their credit potential to farm sector. The banks in other states like Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Punjab have been meeting the RBI norms, he added.
Stating that the Odisha government has been providing 3% subsidy on farm loans to help the farmers increase their income, Sahoo said the bankers should set a new benchmark in this regard.
Calling for increasing credit linkage to farm entrepreneurs, the minister said the government has increased the number of approved projects in the sector from 62 to 92. Out of Rs 40 crore fund of the agriculture entrepreneurship plan, already Rs 30 crore has been utilised this year, he added.
The minister set a target of Rs 200 crore credit to 500 farm entrepreneurship projects for the bankers for 2021-22 financial year. While 324 projects are meant for commercial banks, 68 are for private banks, 66 for cooperative banks and 42 for rural banks, he added.