KOLKATA: The National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (Nabard) has projected a priority sector credit potential in West Bengal at Rs 1,91,289 crore for 2020-21, which is 29.25% higher than the state’s Rs 1,48,000 crore credit plan for the current fiscal.

Credit potential is a reflection of the demand for credit emanating from the grass root given the stage of infrastructure in the state.

This estimate helps the banks and other lenders to formulate an annual credit plan. Typically, the size of annual state credit plan comes lower than the credit potential. For instance, Nabard has assessed West Bengal’s credit potential at Rs 157498 crore for 2019-20, compared with the credit plan of Rs Rs 148000 crore.

“The resource is limited. The assessment helps us creating a roadmap on how best the resource can be allocated keeping special focus on less developed districts,” Nabard’s chief general manager in Kolkata Subrata mandal told ET. Nabard has unveiled the state focus paper for 2020-21 on Friday.

Of the next fiscal’s credit potential, the micro, small and medium enterprise sector constitutes 42.39%, agriculture 40.3%, self-help group 8.26%, housing sector 5.03% and the balance divided in education loans, social infrastructure and renewable energy.

The focus has also been laid to capital formation in the farm sector and on sustaining production and productivity in agriculture.

Mandal said that Agricultural credit has doubled in the state over the last five years but the ratio of agricultural credit to agricultural gross value added was around 19% in comparison to its all India ratio of 46%.

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HK Dwivedi, the state’s additional chief secretary for finance, said the government is aware of the emerging challenges in agriculture.

“Despite all the odds including small farm landholding and high population density, where farmers distress has not been a major issue here in comparison to other states. Farmers here largely practice subsistence farming which make them immune from the vagaries of cash crops and the failure of these,” he said.





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