Mukherjee emphasises need to strengthen Self-help Groups movement

Written by: Nairita Das
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Hyderabad, July 20 (ANI): Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee on Tuesday emphasized the need to strengthen movement of Self-help Groups for financial inclusion so that small and marginal farmers could get access to higher doses of credit in taking out productive land based activities.

Addressing a meeting of the Chief Ministers of South Zone States and Administrators of Union Territories (UTs) and Chairmen and Executive Directors of Banks in Hyderabad, Mukherjee said: "We have to use new technologies to make banking services available and within reach of rural people through the services of business correspondents, mobile banking, no-frill accounts etc."

The Finance Minister called upon the State Governments to ensure that the residents of rural habitation are enrolled by the banks for opening of 'no-frills' accounts during the campaign.

He also highlighted the need for close monitoring of farm credit flow to small and marginal farmers at the micro level.

"In the field of Agriculture, the efforts of our farmers have led to consistent increase in food production and there has been record production of food grain in the country. At the national level, the credit flow to agriculture is satisfactory and has exceeded the set targets," said Mukherjee.

"However, the need for timely and adequate credit delivery to the small and marginal farmer cannot be over emphasized. Agriculture credit flow must also adequately cover activities under animal husbandry and fisheries," he added.

Mukherjee further said credit to weavers and rural artisan under the priority sector lending also needs to be carefully monitored through the State level and District level Bankers' Committees.

"Timely assistance for delivery of working capital requirements needs to be taken care of without giving scope for repeated visits by the clients to bank branches. The State level Bankers' Committees (SLBC) convenor banks need to ensure the Lead Bank Manager is effective and prompt in monitoring the credit plan," he added.

Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh, Ministers and officials of Southern States attended the meeting. (ANI)

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