nion Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman Tuesday asked the banks to continue actively pursuing people who have turned their loan accounts into Non-Performing Assets (NPAs).
On the 2nd day of her visit to Jammu & Kashmir, Union Finance, Sitharaman along with Lieutenant Governor, Manoj Sinha attended the Credit Outreach programme and other events organized by Banker’s Committee of the J&K UT held at General Zorawar Singh Auditorium Complex, University of Jammu.
On the occasion, the Union Finance Minister handed over sanction letters amounting to Rs. 306 crores to 145 beneficiaries of different banks and credit linked schemes like Pradhan Mantri Employment Generation Programme (PMEGP), MUDRA Scheme, Self-Help Groups (SHGs), Joint-Liability Groups (JLGs) etc.
The Finance Minister also announced new schemes and initiatives for J&K which included the launch of Tejaswini & Hausla schemes; Shikhar and Shikara schemes of Punjab National Bank (PNB) and SIDBI’s Rs. 200 crore Cluster Development Fund, besides laying the e-foundation stone of Rural Self Employment Training Institute (RSETI) building at Shopian and Baramulla,
Under PNB’s special scheme ‘Shikara’, credit up to Rs. 15 lakh will be provided for purchase/repair of Shikaras and houseboats. While, Shikhar scheme focuses on meeting credit requirements up to Rs. 2 crore for the Hotel, Tour & Tourism industry.
JKTPO’s Hausla Scheme will empower existing women entrepreneurs to be role-models in their respective sectors by providing skill development, as well as credit support, marketing support & mentorship. Under Tejaswini Scheme, financial assistance up to Rs 5 lakh to be given to young women for setting up gainful self-employment ventures.
In her address, the Union Finance Minister reiterated Government of India’s commitment to develop the banking sector and extend banking facilities in the UT.
“I will ensure that more bank activities take place in J&K and more Public Sector Banks come here in all the districts so that every person has access to banking facilities”, said the Finance Minister.
She said, “We will have to put in our resources to make the state work well in a transparent manner. If there is any wrongdoing that has happened in the bank, any loans that have been taken and not repaid till now, I am sure our system will work in such a way that the wrongdoers and the money which has been taken away will be brought back.”
“Projects that have been waiting a long time are getting rapidly implemented, sections of society that have never had any assistance from the government are getting it and genuine businesses are also being provided credit”, she added.
Dr. Arun Kumar Mehta, Chief Secretary, J&K delivered the welcome address and apprised the gathering about the efforts being made by the UT administration for economic development of the region. Sh. RK Chhibber, Chairman & MD, J&K Bank presented the Vote of Thanks.
It was also announced that NABARD, in FY 2020-21, for the UT of Jammu & Kashmir is increasing its commitment under Rural Infrastructure Development Fund (RIDF) from Rs. 787 crore to Rs. 1,500 crore which will help in creation of rural infrastructure for faster economic growth. To further accelerate economic growth, banks will also increase their ground level credit in Jammu & Kashmir from the previous year level of Rs. 14,735 crore to Rs. 16,000 crore in the current Financial Year.
The occasion witnessed the inauguration of various projects by the Union Finance Minister including three J&K Bank branches in Reasi district. Under the aegis of NABARD, registration certificates to 5 FPOs and sanction letter of rural mart to Asha SHG were also handed over.
Earlier, the Finance Minister and the Lt Governor visited stalls put up by beneficiaries from J&K Bank, SBI, PNB, J&K Grameen Bank and NABARD, among others. They interacted with the beneficiaries and enquired about the transformative effect the bank credit has made in their entrepreneurial journey. The Finance Minister also evinced keen interest in the products made by the entrepreneurs.
Sh Jugal Kishore Sharma, Member Parliament; Sh Rajeev Rai Bhatnagar, Advisor to the Lt Governor; Dr Arun Kumar Mehta, Chief Secretary; Sh Atal Dulloo, Additional Chief Secretary, Finance Department; Shri Sanjeev Kaushik, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Finance and other senior officers were present on the occasion.