Dhumal urges banks to extend financial support to farmers

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Shimla, Apr 28 (UNI) Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal appealed to banking community to extend their cooperation to form agriculture cooperatives and liberally finance the farmers in their diversified agriculture practices.

Addressing the inaugural session of the 110th State Level Bankers Committee (SLBC) organised by the convener United Commercial Bank here today, the Chief Minister said that banking fraternity had increased the credit flow for agriculture almost three times from Rs 386 crore in year 2004 to Rs 1,183 crore during current financial year.

Mr Dhumal said that as a part of the drive to increase the agriculture credit flow, Reserve Bank of India, NABARD and leading banks should launch a special drive for issuing Kisan Credit Cards to every farmer in the state.

''Over 3.40 lakh credit cards had already been issued and bankers needed to provide 100 percent credit coverage for the farmers on the analogy of household coverage completed in the state and such credit cards would be of immense use in delivering loan services to the farmers'', he added.

The Chief Minister said the state had successfully achieved the target of 100 percent financial inclusion to emerge the first state in the country with complete banking services and emphasised the need to strengthen the IT enabled banking services in the rural and far-flung areas.

UNI XC PS JS1746

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