Credit Flow to Smaller Farmers Has Not Reached Sufficiently: Indian Finance Minister
Thursday, July 14, 2011
Union Finance Minister of India, Pranab Mukherjee recently addressing the Meeting of the Board of Directors of National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) said that the rural Bank should deploy new technology, innovate and create financially viable models that can take forward the process of financial inclusion.
He said that the primary expectation of the nation from banks, including NABARD, in the next decade was to eradicate financial exclusion. He stated that the biggest challenge was to deepen and broaden the inclusive nature of growth which is the central focus of the Government’s agenda.
Mukherjee also said that raising agricultural productivity was much needed. “Though the total amount of credit to agriculture has grown over five-fold in the last 7 years, we have not seen any significant improvement in agricultural productivity,” he said, adding, “While total credit to agriculture has shown consistent growth, the number of accounts has not grown commensurately which means that credit flow to smaller farmers has not reached in sufficient measures.”
The Finance Minister further said that the situation had to be corrected and ensuring that the credit flow to small farmers is adequate in meeting their needs. “NABARD, in particular, has a major role to play in this regard,” he said. He also said that agriculture sector should enhance production and focus should be on improving the situation in Eastern India and dry lands.