Ganesan Launches SFP, Calls For Banking Expansion In Unbanked Blocks - Eastern Mirror
Tuesday, April 23, 2024
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Nagaland

Ganesan launches SFP, calls for banking expansion in unbanked blocks

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By Menuse-O Max Khieya Updated: Mar 05, 2024 11:16 pm
Ganesan
La. Ganesan with Surabhi Bhattacharjee, Tiakala Ao, Paresh Chauhan and Taliremba during the launching of the State Focus Paper on Tuesday in Kohima. (EM Images)

KOHIMA — Governor La. Ganesan officially launched the State Focus Paper (SFP) 2024–25 during the annual state-level credit seminar organised by the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD), Nagaland Regional Office, on Tuesday in Kohima.

The SFP presents potentials for various priority sectors in the state, highlights constraints in various inputs for development, identifies critical gaps in infrastructure, and provides suggestions for improvement.

Speaking on the occasion, Ganesan urged the state-level bankers’ committee to prioritise establishing brick-and-mortar branches in the 22 unbanked rural development blocks. He highlighted the state’s significant agricultural potential and emphasised the importance of accessible credit in transforming this potential into prosperity, thereby boosting output and rural economies.

He encouraged NABARD, banks, and financial institutions to collaborate with the state government to develop tailored credit solutions, fostering an environment conducive to rural financial empowerment.

Tiakala Ao, the chief general manager of NABARD, briefed on Nagaland’s agriculture sector, which engages over 60% of the population. She highlighted challenges such as low productivity and limited market access, underscoring the importance of prioritising agriculture for economic growth. She stressed the necessity for efforts in diversification and modernisation to address these challenges.

Stating that NABARD prepares potential linked credit plans for districts to guide credit extension to priority sectors, she affirmed that the SFP for Nagaland assesses a credit potential of INR 1,178.08 crore for 2024-25.

Ao maintained the importance of extending credit to farmers’ producer organisations and primary agricultural credit societies, among others. Additionally, she cited a need to fast-track the saturation of kisan credit cards and focus on agriculture, horticulture, and food processing.

She stressed the importance of collaborative efforts from stakeholders in boosting Nagaland’s economic growth, citing NABARD’s commitment of over INR 90 crore for infrastructure, investment, and development activities during FY 2023-24.

Surabhi Bhattacharjee, deputy general manager, State Bank of India, pointed out Nagaland’s untapped natural resources and advocated for improved marketing strategies for local produce. She underscored the SFP’s function in setting higher targets and supporting local producers.

Paresh Chauhan, general manager, RBI Kohima, also noted the significant potential in agricultural lending and encouraged bankers to further explore this avenue. He pointed out that, in addition to credit, the RBI prioritises enhancing financial literacy and inclusion, especially in rural areas.

He also urged bankers to collaborate for the comprehensive development of Nagaland.

Earlier, the governor also inaugurated a NABARD-sponsored mobile ‘Rural Mart’ for Akai, a registered multi-purpose cooperative society at Molvom village, Medziphema. The vehicle is designated for transporting pineapples and paddy to Assam.

Banking disparities in Nagaland

Taliremba, the principal secretary of the department of Finance, spoke on the occasion about the disparity between targets and achievements in the annual credit plan (ACP) while providing updates on the ACP for the period of 2023–24.

He also informed that there are currently 26 banks with a total of 214 branches functioning in the state. However, he mentioned that the distribution of branches is uneven, with Dimapur hosting 51 branches, followed by Kohima with 48, Mokokchung with 25, and Chümoukedima with 18.

He expressed concern about the significant number of unbanked blocks and stressed the importance of expanding banking services to these areas.

During the event, the governor also felicitated the best performing SHGs/JLGs and banks and also handed over sanctioned letters of NABARD sponsored projects.

List of best performers

Best Performing self-help group (SHG)
1st prizeTelongjem Women SHG Middle Point Colony, Dimapur
2nd prizeYimkumtsar SHG Aokong Colony, Dimapur
Best Performing Joint Liability Group (JLG)
1st prizeSisters JLG, Kohima
Best Performing Bank in SHG Promotion and Linkage
1st prizeNagaland State Cooperative Bank, Wokha Branch
2nd prizeNagaland Rural Bank, Wokha Branch
Best Bank Branch in JLG Linkage
1st prizeNStCB Ltd., Dimapur Main Branch
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By Menuse-O Max Khieya Updated: Mar 05, 2024 11:16:56 pm
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