VIJAYAWADA: Chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu, during the 191st meeting of the SLBC of Andhra Pradesh held here on Monday, reprimanded bankers for their non-cooperation in extending credit to farmers.
Expressing anguish over the spurt of farmers’ suicides in the state, the CM alleged that bankers had been adamant in sanctioning loans, though the government was extending debt redemption scheme and ensuring capital infusion for the welfare of farmers in the state.
“Andhra Pradesh cannot have farmer suicides. We need to be sensitive to their problems. Lack of viability of commercial crops, defunct pump sets are some of the main reasons. We need to bring down debts and for this, we need cooperation of bankers. Every farmer should be able to carry out agriculture without debts,” he said.
Crop insurance became a major problem in the state. Despite paying premium, farmers were not able to insure their crops. “Hence, we need to prepare a vulnerability index and sort out the issues district-wise,” he explained.
He told the officials to set up a sub-committee, which will work with Rythu Saadhikaratha Samithis in villages and assess the set growth targets, based on the estimates. “This group will also encourage bankers to motivate their employees, build capacities and enhance skills. They should, in turn, educate and motivate farmers in generating economic activity rather than farmers ending up borrowing beyond their capacity and eventually not repaying the loan.”
Expressing dissatisfaction with the bankers lagging in technological advancements, the chief minister sought details of the banks that do not have Core Banking Solutions and did not digitise their data completely. He also directed the banks to make intra-operability facility available in the state within three months, before the next SLBC meeting.
They bankers were instructed to link all welfare schemes to RuPay card. “The state government departments’ data will be online. Taking help of this data, you can roll out money for welfare schemes,” he said.
The next phase will be making transactions through mobile. However, Naidu said that mobile transactions will begin in Krishna District from this month. “Operationalise Jan Dhan and Rupay Cards immediately. After you obtain the data, do not merely restrict yourself to numbers, but focus on calculating the savings in the state and how this will boost our income. The savings data can also be compared with that of the other state. That way, we can find ways to generate economic activity,” he directed.
Highlighting the poor performance in meeting the targets in the MSME sector, the chief minister said that an analytical exercise should be carried out to give a push to the sector. Elaborating the state government’s double-digit growth target, he stated that he identified 40 growth engines, to drive the growth of the economy, including 23 from primary sector, six from secondary and 11 from tertiary sector.
Reiterating that the state’s GDP crossed the country’s GDP, he told bankers to shun their ‘business as usual’ approach and work in an analytical approach by identifying performance indicators. He also told the SLBC to prepare a report on overcoming the dry spell and suggest solutions.
Reviewing the status of debt redemption for farmers, the CM asked them to sort out all issues in rolling out debt redemption. “In the next three months, I’ll tour villages and seek feedback. I want all problems to be sorted. My ultimate goal is to making agriculture a sustainable and profitable vocation.”