Deadline over, actionable plan yet to be submitted by panel of bureaucrats

Slackness despite repeated concern by CS since July 2018
Poor priority sector lending by banks in distts of Jammu region

Mohinder Verma
JAMMU, Aug 30: Though Chief Secretary BVR Subrahmanyam is repeatedly expressing concern over poor credit flow in the priority sectors particularly in the districts of Jammu region yet a panel of senior bureaucrats and other officers has failed to submit actionable plan within the time-frame fixed by the Government.
With such a slack approach nobody in the administration is in a position to specify when there will be reasonable improvement in the Credit Deposit Ratio in order to meet the targets fixed by the Reserve Bank of India.
The issue of low Credit-Deposit Ratio came up for deliberations in the 108th meeting of the State Level Bankers’ Committee held on June 26, 2018 at SKICC Srinagar. Chief Secretary BVR Subrahmanyam, who presided over the meeting, noted with concern that the performance of the banks particularly the private sector ones with regard to their lending to the priority sectors was quite dismal, official sources told EXCELSIOR.
While expressing displeasure over the performance of the banks in the entire Jammu region where figure was hovering around 40-50%, the Chief Secretary had pointed out that achievement of just 42% of the Annual Credit Plan target in priority sectors was totally unacceptable.
Accordingly, the Principal Secretary Finance was directed by the Chief Secretary to take a meeting with the Convenor SLBC and heads of the banks and do a micro-analysis to indicate which district is lagging behind in which sector and ascertain the reasons thereof.
Keeping in view that Reserve Bank of India had prescribed a Credit Deposit Ratio of 60% for the State to be achieved as on March 31, 2018, all the banks were advised to put in strenuous efforts to enhance flow of credit so as to ensure that CD Ratio of the State is substantially improved.
Thereafter, Chief Secretary, while chairing 109th meeting of the State Level Bankers’ Committee on February 7, 2019, again expressed concern over poor lending in the priority sectors by the banks operating in the State and said the credit flow numbers especially in agriculture, MSME and housing loan segments were not in sync with the stated objective of the State.
While stating that Government was committed to uplift the economic profile of farmers and artisans with improved flow of credit, the Chief Secretary, in the 109th meeting, laid stress on introspection, tracking down the obstacles and finding out the reasons behind dismal show. “The banks should push up their efforts aggressively and work in coordination with district administrations for realisation of goals,” he had explicitly told the representatives of the banks.
As improving the Credit Deposit Ratio in the State particularly in the districts of Jammu region was his priority, the General Administration Department, on the instructions of the Chief Secretary, vide Government Order No.702 dated June 18, 2019 constituted a committee of senior bureaucrats and other officers for facilitating priority sector lending in the State particularly under agriculture, MSMEs and housing sectors to address low Credit-Deposit Ratio in the State.
The committee headed by Administrative Secretary, Finance Department and comprised of Administrative Secretaries of Housing and Urban Development, Industries and Commerce, Agriculture Production Departments, Deputy Commissioners of Jammu/Srinagar, President J&K Bank, Director General Manager, State Bank of India, J&K, Zonal Head HDFC Bank, Director General Manager, Punjab National Bank and General Manager State Cooperative Bank was directed to identify the reasons for poor credit flow in the priority sectors particularly in the districts with low CD Ratio and suggest measures to improve it on sustained basis.
Moreover, the mandate of the committee was to examine the credit and deposit growth in the State and identify reasons underlying the slowdown of deposit in banks, if any, and further determine if the low deposit growth is driving the poor CD Ratio.
The committee was further asked to suggest actionable plan to improve CD Ratio in the State particularly in the districts of Jammu region and furnish its report to the State Level Bankers’ Committee in its next meeting.
“However, the panel of bureaucrats and other officers has failed to meet the time-line for completion of task and this is evident from the fact that no report was placed before the SLBC in its 110th meeting held yesterday”, official sources said, adding “this compelled the Chief Secretary to once again express serious concern over the low Credit Deposit Ratio especially in the districts of Jammu region where the CD Ratio has remained below 40%”.
When contacted, some members of the committee, on the condition of anonymity, confirmed that no report was placed before the SLBC in its 110th meeting. “The committee has met a number of times but report is yet to be finalized”, they added.
“It is really a matter of serious concern that slackness is prevailing at the end of committee of bureaucrats and others despite repeated concern by the Chief Secretary”, sources said and hoped that committee will complete the assigned task before next meeting of the SLBC at any cost.