Kolkata: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Saturday urged public sector banks to increase the flow of credit to agriculture and micro and small enterprises sectors in the state.
"I would request the banks to look into the following issues. There is low credit for agriculture. Forty percent of the demand is achieved. This needs to be raised significantly," Banerjee said in a meeting with Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, chief ministers of east zone states and chiefs of the public sector banks.
"Low credit flow to the micro and small enterprises is a matter of concern. It is only 48 per cent of credit requirement of my state. Annual credit plan target for the micro and small enterprises sector must be raised in West Bengal. It has been fixed at Rs 9,000 crore- far below the annual credit requirement of Rs 15,000 crore in 2011," she said.
She said loan facility per self help groups (SHG) in the state, which stood at Rs 44,000 crore, was still way below the national average of Rs 58,000 crore.
"1.55 lakh SHGs are waiting for bank finance in West Bengal. This can lead to serious problems for the SHG movement in our state. Banks must address this vital need urgently," Banerjee said.
Suggesting major banks to pick a district and select a sector in the district to create entrepreneurs there, she said, "I understand that in some developed nations, models like 'unit banking' had created and nurtured entrepreneurs from the grass-root level, who later became global players."
"I would be very happy if captains of banks and financial institutions consider this suggestion seriously," Banerjee added.