Improving people’s access to financial products, the availability of institutional credit to the productive sectors of the economy: LG Sinha

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Jammu, February 22: Lieutenant Governor (LG) Manoj Sinha said on Tuesday that Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) has emerged as one of the favorite destinations for industrial investment, tourism, film industry and real estate sector.

He made the remarks while reviewing progress made towards financial inclusion by J&K banks with MK Jain, RBI Deputy Governor, Dr. Arun Kumar Mehta, Chief Secretary and other officials.

Speaking on the occasion, LG said: “The government is committed to ensuring adequate and timely availability of credit to industrial sectors and the various productive sectors of the economy to finance growth.”

The Lieutenant Governor shared the UT Government’s vision to bring banking and financial services to the doorsteps of J&K residents.

“Efforts are being made to enable remote areas in the rural interior to be fully connected to the financial sector,” the lieutenant governor said.

The Lieutenant-Governor added: “To broaden the social base of development, we are improving people’s access to financial products, the promotion of “One district, one product”, institutional credit to women, young people, SMEs, to handicrafts, horticulture and various other priority sectors for effective contribution to UT’s growth processes.

He observed that over the past two years, various reforms have been executed to provide regular commercial banks with the opportunity to expand their operations to J&K.

“We will also work together to make our credit system more responsive to the needs of women and young entrepreneurs, farmers and artisans,” the lieutenant governor said.

There is a need to create additional bank outlets in rural areas to bring excluded households into the fold of institutional credit and financial services in a structured and sustainable manner, the Lieutenant Governor added.

The enabling ecosystem will also bridge the gap between government programs and people living in geographically challenging terrain, he added.

The Lieutenant Governor directed the officers involved to explore all avenues of extending financial support to eligible recipients through various government programs and interventions.

MK Jain, Deputy Governor of the Reserve Bank of India, highlighted the importance of increasing bank presence for greater financial inclusion. He informed that the implementation of government sponsored programs is monitored by the Bankers Committee at UT level at periodic intervals.

Discussions were also held regarding the creation of banking infrastructure, the rationalization of the operation of district cooperatives and other cooperative banking societies, the efficient use of funds under the NABARD programs, the concerns of the industries sector and trade, availability of banking services, micro-finance institutions and NBFCs, and other important issues.

Atal Dulloo, Additional Chief Secretary, Department of Finance; Baldev Prakash, Managing Director and CEO, J&K Bank; Kamal P. Patnaik, Regional Director, RBI; Nitishwar Kumar, Principal Secretary to the Lieutenant Governor; Ranjan Prakash Thakur, Principal Secretary of the Department of Government, Industries and Commerce (in virtual mode) and other senior officials attended the meeting at Raj Bhawan.

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