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The Union Finance Minister Shri Pranab Mukherjee said that operational guidelines for assistance for creation/ modernisation of warehousing capacity under Rural Infrastructure Development Fund (RIDF) have been finalised. A dedicated allocation of Rs. 2000 cr. has been provided this year, he added.

The Union Finance Minister Shri Pranab Mukherjee was speaking in Mumbai today while reviewing the flow of credit under various schemes and progress of the financial inclusion with the representatives of State Governments/UTs of Western Region and Chief Executive Officers(CEOs) of Public Sector Banks (PSBs) and Financial Institutions(FIs).The Finance Minister said that the credit flow to Agriculture Sector has been exceeding the annual target for the past many years. The Union Finance Minister Shri Mukherjee said that in the FY 2010-11, the credit flow to agriculture sector was Rs. 4,47,700 cr. against the target of Rs. 3,75,000 cr. A target of Rs. 4,75,000 cr has been fixed for the current financial year i.e.2011-12, the Minister added.

The Union Finance Minister Shri Pranab Mukherjee said that additional interest subvention for timely repayment is being provided since 2009-10. He said that subsidy of 3% would be available this year. As a result, the Finance Minister said that crop loan upto Rs. 3.00 lacs would be available at an effective rate of 4 % to such farmers. Shri Mukherjee asked the State Governments to create more awareness about the scheme so that no eligible farmer is left out,

The Union Finance Minister Shri Pranab Mukherjee advised the States to pay special attention to address the supply chain constraints, particularly in fruits & vegetables and food grains. He said that under financial inclusion, out of 73,000 unbanked villages with population of 2000 and above, over 29,000 villages have been already covered by March 2011. The Finance Minister said that remaining villages are targeted to be covered by March 2012, as scheduled.

The Union Finance Minister Shri Pranab Mukherjee also asked the State Governments to closely monitor the grant of approvals to projects, particularly in the infrastructure and manufacturing sector, where loans have been sanctioned by the banks. This is aimed at expediting the commissioning of such projects so that the benefits of economic growth and employment opportunities are quickly available, he added.

The Union Finance Minister Shri Pranab Mukherjee said that as all PSBs are almost completely on Core Banking Solution (CBS) and the Regional Rural Banks(RRBs) are nearing the completion of Core Banking Solutions, the State Govts were advised to adopt the electronic benefit transfer to beneficiaries who have bank accounts. He said that this will besides improving the efficiency of delivery of these services, reduce the cost and minimise many of the malpractices from the present system.

The Union Finance Minister Shri Pranab Mukherjee asked all the State Governments to take-up a campaign to bring all workers in the informal and unorganised sectors under the co-contributory ‘Swavlamban’ pension scheme. He said that housing Loans in Western Region during 2010-11 have registered a growth of 51% over previous year. The Finance Minister said that Education Loans in Western Region during 2010-11 have registered a growth of 15% over previous year. Indian Banks Association (IBA) has revised the Model Education Loans Scheme in August, 2011 for time bound disposal, he informed.

As regard MSME Sector, the Union Finance Minister Shri Pranab Mukherjee appealed to all State Govts to ensure that there should be year-on-year growth of 20% in MSME advance and 10% increased in micro accounts. He informed that this has been achieved in Western Region. However, States need to work in partnership with banks to increase share of micro enterprises in MSE Sector, the Minister added.

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