Chandigarh Feb 13: Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar on Friday asked bankers to provide loans to small farmers at low interest rates to give boost to agriculture as well as other allied sectors like dairy farming, fisheries, poultry among others.
"I am quite concerned about the problem of loan recovery," he said, adding that efforts were being made by the government to change this scenario so as to increase the recovery of commercial banks.
Recovery is necessary for the smooth functioning of banks, he added. He said the scenario has changed after the formation of BJP-led government in Haryana leading to record recovery of Rs 200 crore in the past three months by the Cooperative Banks.
The CM said the land holdings have been shrinking, adding that Haryana has a total of 16.17 lakh land holdings out of which small and marginal holdings are about 11 lakh which constitutes 70 per cent of the total land holdings.
The small and marginal farmers always have limited resources for growing crops. Hence, it was necessary to provide them loans on low rate of interest for other agri-related businesses also so as to increase their income, he said.
His government has provided a financial assistance of Rs 100 crore to Cooperative Agriculture Banks and Rural Development Banks so that these institutions could provide maximum loans.
While underlining the need of better banking system for the rapid development in this era of open economy, he urged the banks to open more bank branches in the villages which is 2,228 at present so that maximum facilities could be provided to the people at the grass root level.
Haryana has a total of 4,158 branches of Commercial and Rural Regional Banks. He said presently there are 1,984 Business Correspondent Agents (BCAs) in the state and urged the banks to increase this number.
The government has decided to disburse the increased Old Age Pension of February paid in the month of March through banks, he said.