The Chief Secretary, Dr. Arun Kumar Mehta chaired the 5th UT-Level Bankers’ Committee meeting and reviewed achievements of banks and financial institutions operating in Jammu and Kashmir for the half year ended September 2021.
Financial Commissioner Finance, Atal Dulloo, Principal Secretary, Rural Development Department & Panchayati Raj, Bipul Pathak Principal Secretary, HUDD, Dheeraj Gupta, Chairman & MD J&K Bank (Convenor J&K UTLBC) R K Chhibber, Director, DFS, MoF (GoI) A.K. Dogra, CGM In-Charge (FIDD), Reserve Bank of India (RBI), Sonali Sen Gupta, Chief General Manager NABARD, A. K. Sood and other senior functionaries of the Government, RBI, NABARD, Banks, LDMs, line departments, insurance companies, BSNL were also present on the occasion.
In his opening remarks, the Chief Secretary, Dr.Arun Kumar Mehta impressed upon the banks and Financial Institutions to increase their business to boost economic growth in J&K.
Reiterating the directions issued by Finance Minister, Dr Mehta directed the Public Sector Banks to expand their foot print besides scaling up the credit lending in J&K.
He also directed the Public Sector Banks to initiate measures to bring in more Non Banking Financial Corporations (NBFCs) and Micro Finance Institutions (MFIs) having business relations with them to J&K. The PSBs were directed to prepare the plan in this regard by 31st December 2021.
The Chief Secretary asked NABARD to prepare roadmap for utilization pipeline under all schemes and prepare projects for better utilization by 31st December. 2021.
While announcing that agricultural and industrial products for each district have been identified by J&K Government, the Chief Secretary directed Punjab National Bank to take lead in preparing the Plan under One District One Product (ODOP) programme by 15th December 2021 in respect of the products already identified by Government.
Reviewing the performance of banking sector during the first half of FY 2021-22, the Chief Secretary expressed serious concern upon poor lending in the priority sector in general and agriculture sector in particular despite immense potential in these sectors.
He stated that 70% population in J&K is directly or indirectly linked to agriculture and banks need to do more to improve lending in the sector.
In order to improve the lending under Government Sponsored Schemes/ Employment Generation Schemes, the Chief Secretary directed the Information Technology Department to develop online portals by 31st December 2021 for various schemes for online submission of applications on the pattern of the existing PMEGP Portal.
Dr Mehta laid emphasis on end to end digitisation of all beneficiary oriented schemes in J&K and asked the concerned departments and banks to synergize their processes for early results.
While directing banks to clear the backlog of Government sponsored cases, he also directed the sponsoring agencies to scale up sponsorship under the respective schemes in line with the prescribed targets.
The Chief Secretary impressed upon the Banks to take advantage of the digitization of the land records for extending hassle free credit in J&K.
While appreciating the banks for their role in saturating Kissan Credit Card Scheme in J&K, Dr Mehta asked them to create more employment opportunities for the youth by enhancing lending in the priority sector.
While appreciating that J&K is a top ranker in the country in the realm of financial inclusion, he announced that a dedicated financial inclusion campaign will be launched in J&K by the banks from 1st January to 31st march, 2022 to make further advances in the domain of financial inclusion.
Dr Mehta directed the banks to saturate the unbanked areas with banking touch points in J&K by 26th January, 2022.