Bhubaneswar: Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has said the State Government is always concerned to safeguard and protect the interest of the vulnerable and disadvantaged groups.

“The farmers, Mission Shakti groups and MSMEs are our lakhs of entrepreneurs who are in need of credit to run and expand their business. We need to support them in true letter and spirit,” he said during a review of the performances over credit linkages with Bankers, Collectors and top officers on virtual platform.

Appreciating the efforts of banks and districts for making coordinated efforts to improve lending to priority sectors, the Chief Minister said that there has been a considerable progress in credit disbursement to priority sector during the last 2 months.

Since the last review meeting two months back, the Chief Minister said, that he had requested all to go the extra mile in these crisis times and ensure adequate and timely credit supply to help the most vulnerable sections of society and economy –farmers, women and MSMEs.

He further said that our Government is always concerned to safeguard and protect the interest of the vulnerable and disadvantaged groups.

Highlighting the importance of Agriculture, MSME and Mission Shakti, he said that for taking forward the momentum created in the last few months, the budgetary provisions for these sectors have been substantially increased for the Financial Year 2021-22. We are also providing Interest Subvention under various schemes to reduce the interest burden on the people and to enhance of credit   linkage, he added.

He noted that the Banks and Districts have done quite a commendable job in improving their performance in credit flow to Agriculture, MSMEs & SHGs sector. He congratulated all the Bankers for achieving the financial target meant for SHG sector well ahead of time.

The Chief Minister said that from the last meeting in December about Rs 1600 Crores more has gone to Mission Shakti groups, which is about Rs 500 crore more than the annual target. He complimented all the Banks and the district administration for this achievement and hoped that this good work would be scaled up.

It was revealed in the meeting that the annual credit target for SHGs was Rs 3240 Crore. But by January, the SHGs have already received credits over Rs 3745 Crore.

The average loan size in SHG sector is Rs 1.49 lakh, which needs to be improved to at least Rs 2 lakh. The Chief Minister, therefore, cautioned over the need to focus on increasing the average size of loan for the SHGs.

Speaking that credit support to Mission Shakti groups is one of the top priorities of his government, the Chief Minister congratulated the districts of Ganjam, Balasore, Nuapada, Kandhamal and Angul on good performance.

He also thanked Odisha Gramya Bank, Odisha State Co-Operative Bank, SBI, UCO Bank, and Canara Bank for supporting the Mission Shakti groups. He urged other banks like Axis Bank, HDFC Bank and IDBI Bank to improve their performance.

Focusing on farmers, the Chief Minister said that they are the backbone of our State. We should provide them timely credit. He said that overall, we have been able to help the farmers with credit so far in most districts.

It was informed in the meeting that Last year crop loan was Rs 20,000 crore. This year, it has been Rs 20,606 crore by now.