CM hints at merger, says it would strengthen network of financial institutions for 30L farmers.
Mumbai: Chief minister Devendra Fadnavis on Friday hinted that the government is mulling over merging loss-making district co-operative banks with the state co-operative bank. He said the move would strengthen the network of financial institutions to bring about 30 lakh farmers within institutional credit. In a review meeting held ahead of the Kharif season, the CM instructed officials about better distribution of crop loans and making available farm ponds and storage facilities for the farmers.
“There are 10 to 12 district co-operative banks reeling in distress, which need strengthening. But overall, district co-operative banks have better infrastructure in rural areas. The commercial and national banks, with higher capital adequacy, and district co-operative banks, with better rural infrastructure, may collaborate to strengthen and spread the network to bring 30 lakh farmers within institutional credit,” Mr Fadnavis said in the meeting. About nine banks — Solapur, Beed, Osmanabad, Nanded, Jalna, Parbhani, Buldana, Wardha and Nagpur co-operative banks — are in an abysmal shape at present.
The chief minister asked for the setting up of a sub- committee lead by the additional finance secretary, secretary of agriculture, co-operative, water conservation, Nabard chief regional officer and Reserve Bank of India representatives to work out model to optimise the network to incorporate every farmers within institutional credit so that every farmer should get crop loans.
Mr Fadnavis placed emphasis on group farming, which can help the farmers increase production. “Agriculture universities and other departments must come together for studying and planning crop patterns and guide farmers from time to time. Our target for this year is to increase the productivity of crops. Each district must take up this mission and plan on a crop-wise basis. We need to focus more on group farming, a cluster-based approach and also on creating water structures in next two months,” he said. The government has also allotted funds for group farming in this year’s budget.
The CM has also asked officials to focus on the food processing and storage facilities. “We are praying for a good monsoon but at the same time, we have to be prepared and ready with a mitigation plan in anticipation of any kind of situation. The India Meteorological Department has predicted good monsoons this year. I urge all district officials and guardian ministers to maximise infrastructure work to optimise the rain water storage. The Jalyukta Shivar and farm ponds works should be completed in the next two months,” he said.