(As on May 10, 2016)
1. What are the different categories under priority sector?
Priority Sector includes the following categories:
(ii) Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises
(iii) Export Credit
(vi) Social Infrastructure
(vii) Renewable Energy
2. What are the Targets and Sub-targets for banks under priority sector?
The targets and sub-targets for banks under priority sector are as follows:
|Categories||Domestic scheduled commercial banks and Foreign banks with 20 branches and above||Foreign banks with less than 20 branches|
|Total Priority Sector|
40 percent of Adjusted Net Bank Credit or Credit Equivalent Amount of Off-Balance Sheet Exposure, whichever is higher.
Foreign banks with 20 branches and above have to achieve the Total Priority Sector Target within a maximum period of five years starting from April 1, 2013 and ending on March 31, 2018 as per the action plans submitted by them and approved by RBI.
|40 percent of Adjusted Net Bank Credit or Credit Equivalent Amount of Off-Balance Sheet Exposure, whichever is higher; to be achieved in a phased manner by 2020.|
18 percent of ANBC or Credit Equivalent Amount of Off-Balance Sheet Exposure, whichever is higher.
Within the 18 percent target for agriculture, a target of 8 percent of ANBC or Credit Equivalent Amount of Off-Balance Sheet Exposure, whichever is higher is prescribed for Small and Marginal Farmers, to be achieved in a phased manner i.e., 7 per cent by March 2016 and 8 per cent by March 2017.
Foreign banks with 20 branches and above have to achieve the Agriculture Target within a maximum period of five years starting from April 1, 2013 and ending on March 31, 2018 as per the action plans submitted by them and approved by RBI. The sub-target for Small and Marginal farmers would be made applicable post 2018 after a review in 2017.
7.5 percent of ANBC or Credit Equivalent Amount of Off-Balance Sheet Exposure, whichever is higher to be achieved in a phased manner i.e. 7 per cent by March 2016 and 7.5 per cent by March 2017.
The sub-target for Micro Enterprises for foreign banks with 20 branches and above would be made applicable post 2018 after a review in 2017.
|Advances to Weaker Sections||10 percent of ANBC or Credit Equivalent Amount of Off-Balance Sheet Exposure, whichever is higher.|
Foreign banks with 20 branches and above have to achieve the Weaker Sections Target within a maximum period of five years starting from April 1, 2013 and ending on March 31, 2018 as per the action plans submitted by them and approved by RBI.
|# Domestic banks have been directed to ensure that their overall direct lending to non-corporate farmers does not fall below the system-wide average of the last three years achievement.|
3. What are the categories under ‘Agriculture’?
The activities covered under Agriculture are classified under three sub-categories viz. Farm credit, Agriculture infrastructure and Ancillary activities.
4. Whether limits are prescribed for loans sanctioned to Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises to be classified as priority sector?
For classification under priority sector, no limits are prescribed for bank loans sanctioned to Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises engaged in the manufacture or production of goods under any industry specified in the first schedule to the Industries (Development and Regulation) Act, 1951 and as notified by the Government from time to time. The manufacturing enterprises are defined in terms of investment in plant and machinery under MSMED Act, 2006.
Bank loans up to ₹ 5 crore per unit to Micro and Small Enterprises and ₹ 10 crore to Medium Enterprises engaged in providing or rendering of services and defined in terms of investment in equipment under MSMED Act, 2006 are eligible for classification under priority sector.
5. What is the applicable limit and purpose for social infrastructure loans under priority sector?
Bank loans up to a limit of ₹ 5 crore per borrower for building social infrastructure for activities namely schools, health care facilities, drinking water facilities and sanitation facilities (including loans for construction/ refurbishment of toilets and improvement in water facilities in the household) in Tier II to Tier VI centres are eligible for classification under priority sector.
Bank credit to Micro Finance Institutions (MFI) extended for on-lending to individuals/ members of SHGs/ JLGs for water and sanitation facilities is also eligible for classification as priority sector loans under ‘Social Infrastructure’ subject to certain criteria.
6. What is the applicable limit and purpose for loans for renewable energy under priority sector?
Bank loans up to a limit of ₹ 15 crore to borrowers for purposes like solar based power generators, biomass based power generators, wind mills, micro-hydel plants and for non-conventional energy based public utilities viz. street lighting systems, and remote village electrification are eligible to be classified under priority sector loans under ‘Renewable Energy’. For individual households, the loan limit is ₹ 10 lakh per borrower.
7. What is the loan limit for education under priority sector?
Loans to individuals for educational purposes including vocational courses upto ₹ 10 lakh irrespective of the sanctioned amount are eligible for classification under priority sector.
8. What is the limit for housing loans under priority sector?
Loans to individuals up to ₹ 28 lakh in metropolitan centres (with population of ten lakh and above) and loans up to ₹ 20 lakh in other centres for purchase/construction of a dwelling unit per family, are eligible to be considered as priority sector provided the overall cost of the dwelling unit in the metropolitan centre and at other centres does not exceed ₹ 35 lakh and ₹ 25 lakh, respectively. Housing loans to banks’ own employees are not eligible for classification under priority sector.
9. What is included under Weaker Sections under priority sector?
Priority sector loans to the following borrowers are eligible to be considered under Weaker Sections category:-
|1.||Small and Marginal Farmers|
|2.||Artisans, village and cottage industries where individual credit limits do not exceed ₹ 1 lakh|
|3.||Beneficiaries under Government Sponsored Schemes such as National Rural Livelihoods Mission (NRLM), National Urban Livelihood Mission (NULM) and Self Employment Scheme for Rehabilitation of Manual Scavengers (SRMS)|
|4.||Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes|
|5.||Beneficiaries of Differential Rate of Interest (DRI) scheme|
|6.||Self Help Groups|
|7.||Distressed farmers indebted to non-institutional lenders|
|8.||Distressed persons other than farmers, with loan amount not exceeding ₹ 1 lakh per borrower to prepay their debt to non-institutional lenders|
|9.||Individual women beneficiaries up to ₹ 1 lakh per borrower|
|10.||Persons with disabilities|
|11.||Overdrafts upto ₹ 5,000/- under Pradhan Mantri Jan-DhanYojana (PMJDY) accounts, provided the borrowers’ household annual income does not exceed ₹ 100,000/- for rural areas and ₹ 1,60,000/- for non-rural areas|
|12.||Minority communities as may be notified by Government of India from time to time|
In States, where one of the minority communities notified is, in fact, in majority, item (12) will cover only the other notified minorities. These States/ Union Territories are Jammu & Kashmir, Punjab, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland and Lakshadweep.
10. Is bank credit to Micro Finance Institutions (MFIs) treated as priority sector lending?
Bank credit to MFIs extended for on-lending to individuals and also to members of SHGs / JLGs is eligible for categorisation as priority sector advance under respective categories viz., Agriculture, Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, Social Infrastructure and Others subject to the criteria laid down in para IX of the Master Circular FIDD.CO.Plan.BC.04/04.09.01/2015-16 dated July 1, 2015 on Priority Sector Lending- Targets and Classification.
11. What are Priority Sector Lending Certificates (PSLCs)?
Priority Sector Lending Certificates (PSLCs) are a mechanism to enable banks to achieve the priority sector lending target and sub-targets by purchase of these instruments in the event of shortfall. This also incentivizes surplus banks as it allows them to sell their excess achievement over targets thereby enhancing lending to the categories under priority sector. Under the PSLC mechanism, the seller sells fulfilment of priority sector obligation and the buyer buys the obligation with no transfer of risk or loan assets.
12. What are the instructions to Banks with regard to acknowledgement of priority sector loan applications?
Banks should provide acknowledgement for loan applications received under priority sector loan. A time limit is required to be prescribed by the Bank Board within which the bank communicates its decision in writing to the applicants.
13. What is the rate of interest for loans under priority sector?
The rate of interest on bank loans will be as per directives issued by the Department of Banking Regulation of RBI, from time to time. Priority sector guidelines do not lay down any preferential rate of interest for priority sector loans.
14. Where are the latest instructions on Priority Sector Lending available?
The latest instructions on Priority Sector Lending –Targets and Classification have been issued vide RBI Circular FIDD.CO.Plan.BC.04/04.09.01/2015-16 dated July 1, 2015 (amended up to December 15, 2015).