Banks should target agriculture, tourism: Himachal CM

Shimla: Banks should target agriculture, tourism, horticulture and services sector for increasing the credit-deposit ratio and ensuring all-round development, Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur said on Tuesday.

Presiding over the state-level bankers’ conference here, he said the credit-deposit ratio in Himachal was 35.47 per cent, which was quite low than the national average of 75.64 per cent.

He said the banking sector should create conducive atmosphere for people to go for institutional loans.

The efforts would be made to bring cooperative banks in the state under the preview of the Credit Guarantee Fund Trust for Micro and Small Entrepreneurs for availing credit guarantee coverage for collateral free loans.

The Chief Minister said the banks should also simplify cumbersome documentation and procedure requirements for availing bank loan.

Citing a survey, he said it has found that a large proportion of households accessed non-institutional sources for loans.

He said only about 46.51 per cent of households opted for institutional loans. Thus the bankers should come up with easy and simple procedures for financing.

The Chief Minister said efforts should be made to encourage and credit link the farmers’ cooperatives like self-help groups and farmers producer organisations.

He said banks should come help promote small and micro industrial units by providing them need based loans and other logistic support.

Thakur said that there was immense potential in sectors like health care, skill development and human resource development for expanding banking activities.

Additional Chief Secretary Anil Kumar Khachi said the state had over Rs 1.05 lakh crore deposits in bank whereas it has only Rs 37,400 crore loans. He said the bankers should focus on housing sector for increasing credit-deposit ratio.

Himachal Pradesh’s economy is highly dependent on hydroelectricity, horticulture and tourism.