Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Feb 18:
Cooperation minister Damodar Rout today informed the Odisha Assembly that cooperative banks in the state are streets ahead of the nationalised and commercial banks in terms of lending in the agriculture sector.
“While the cooperative banks are able to mobilise only four percent of the total deposits, nationalised and commercial banks account for as much as 96 percent of the total deposits in the state. But nationalised banks have lent less than four percent of their deposits in agriculture loan while the cooperative banks have lent more than hundred percent of their deposits,” the minister said while replying to a question of BJP member Dilip Ray.
“Despite this, the state government does not have any treasury business through these cooperative banks, which are running under acute financial crisis while it has a treasury business of over thousand crores through these nationalised and commercial banks,” the minister pointed out.
Citing instances, Rout said while nationalised and commercial banks in the state have lent only 2.5 percent (Rs 4433.91 crore) of their total deposits (Rs 1,77,229.44 crore) towards agriculture loan by September in the 2014-15 fiscal, cooperative banks have advanced 88.49 percent (Rs 5866.37 crore) of their total deposits (Rs 6629.58 crore) as agriculture loan by December in the 2014-15 fiscal.
The minister said though the cooperative banks in Odisha have made a major contribution in the development of the agro economy, the state government is transacting a major share of its budget allocations through the nationalised and commercial banks.
He said though the additional chief secretary, Finance, had asked the departments to deposit funds with cooperative banks since they are major lenders to the agriculture sector, the latter are not functioning as per the treasury code issued by the Finance department.
“Once they comply with the code, they will be allowed to disburse pension payments and treasury transactions,” Rout told the House.