BHUBANESWAR: With no significant improvement in cash flow from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), cooperative banks of the State find it difficult to meet the increasing credit demands of the farmers for rabi season.
The Central Cooperatives Banks (CCBs) of the State are reported to have received `12.05 crore from the RBI on Saturday. The federal bank had provided `13.11 crore on December 16 and `9.25 crore on December 15.
Estimating the daily credit needs of the farmers at `65-`70 crore, the State Government had requested the regional office of the RBI to provide cash to the tune of `70 crore to the CCBs.
Apart from crop loan, the farmers are waiting to get their crop insurance claims. The Government has already deposited ` 1,776 crore towards insurance claim of farmers for Kharif crop-2015 which will be disbursed through cooperative banks. Cooperation Secretary Manoj Ahuja on Saturday took stock of the situation with secretaries of CCBs through video conference here.
The cooperative credit structures, which provide 65 per cent of the total crop loan, have extended crop loan to the tune of `487 crore till date.
While the district central cooperative banks (DCCBs) are facing acute liquidity crisis, the RBI restriction on cash withdrawal to Primary Agriculture Cooperative Societies (PACS) has further aggravated the situation. Most of the loanee farmers are members of PACS which are critical for the last mile in unbanked rural areas.
“The primary cooperative credit structures are allowed to withdraw `24,000 in a week. This is too small an amount to meet the credit needs of the farmers when the credit limit of the farmers has been raised to `25,000 per week,” said a senior officer of the Odisha State Cooperative Bank (OSCB). The State Government has set a target to advance `5,000 crore of crop loan to the farmers during the current Rabi season. “The Government may not meet the crop loan target, if the cash crunch continues,” the OSCB sources said.
There is a good demand for crop loan as the interest rate is very low. The farmers are provided crop loan at a nominal interest rate of one per cent.