Over five lakh Kisan Credit Cards inactive in Himachal

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Shimla, March 24 (IANS) More than five lakh Kisan Credit Cards are inactive in Himachal Pradesh, a state-level bankers committee meeting here was informed on Friday.

Additional Chief Secretary (Finance) Shrikant Baldi said out of eight lakh Kisan Credit Cards issued in the state, only 2.4 lakh were active and asked bankers to motivate farmers to use and avail benefits of the scheme by holding camps in rural areas.

“The banking system is important in giving thrust to economic activities. Therefore, the banks should come forward to advance loans in priority sector areas so that initiatives of the government in social security and development become fruitful,” said an official statement quoting Baldi, who was presiding over the meeting.

Baldi said Rs 9,266 crore has been disbursed under the Kisan Credit Cards scheme among the farmers.

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Kisan Credit Card provides need-based and timely credit support to the farmers for their cultivation needs as well as for non-farm activities.

The official expressed concern over the state’s declining credit-deposit ratio of banks and asked the bankers to identify growth areas and mobilise investments.

Baldi asked banks to arrange point of sale terminals in government offices, hospitals and public utility services in order to reduce dependency on cash and to promote cashless transactions.

Additional Chief Secretary (Agriculture) Arvind Mehta asked the banks to fund micro-irrigation schemes in rural areas to boost economic activities in the villages.

UCO Bank Managing Director R.K. Takkar expressed concern over growing non-performing assets (NPAs) of banks presently totalling Rs 2,005 crore.

Takkar said the adverse trend of growing NPAs was putting a lot of pressure on banks with regard to fresh credit expansion.

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