Bhubaneswar: Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Friday urged banks to expedite the process of credit disbursement to farmers, self-help groups and MSMEs to help them overcome financial constraint arising out of the COVID-19 crisis.
During a virtual meeting with bankers, district collectors and top officers of the state government on the credit linkage issues, he hailed a section of lenders for making progress in providing loans to the priority sector.
The chief minister said farmers, 'Mission Shakti' groups and MSMEs need credit to run and expand their businesses.
"We need to support them," Patnaik said.
From the last meeting in December last year, an additional amount of around Rs 1,600 crore was given to "Mission Shakti" groups, which is Rs 500 crore more than the annual target, the chief minister said.
He said the state government has substantially increased the budget allocation for these sectors in 2021-22 fiscal.
The state is also providing interest subvention under various schemes to reduce the burden on people and enhance credit linkages, Patnaik said.
The annual credit target for self-help groups was Rs 3,240 crore and the actual disbursement to them was at Rs 3,745 crore by January, he said.
The average loan size in the SHG sector is Rs 1.49 lakh, which needs to be improved to at least Rs 2 lakh, the chief minister said.
Mentioning that farmers are the backbone of the state, Patnaik said crop loan advances now stand at Rs 20,606 crore, exceeding the last year's disbursement of Rs 20,000 crore.
Patnaik said the overall credit flow to MSMEs during the last two months has been satisfactory.