NABARD projects 16 per centpc jump in priority sector lending potential in West Bengal at ₹Rs 3.15 lakh crore in FY25

The National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (Nabard) on Saturday projected a robust double-digit growth in priority sector lending potential of ₹3.15 lakh crore in West Bengal for 2024-25.

  • Also read:Nabard pegs priority sector credit potential for Telangana at ₹2.80 lakh crore 

NABARD’s Chief General Manager Usha Ramesh unveiled the West Bengal state focus paper on Saturday alongside bankers, State Chief Secretary B P Gopalika, and other officials.

The paper projects a priority sector lending potential of ₹3.15 lakh crore in West Bengal in 2024-25, marking a 16 per cent increase from the previous fiscal year’s figure of ₹2.70 lakh crore.

In the first quarter of the current fiscal year, priority sector lending in the state amounted to ₹86,531 crore, officials said.

The optimistic outlook is fuelled by strong performance of the MSME sector in the state, it said.

“We are taking several interventions and projects. But the projections made for 2024-25 can only be achieved through the coordinated approach of all stakeholders,” Ramesh said.

She expressed confidence in the growing role of farmers’ producer organisations in driving credit uptake within the priority sector.

According to the projections, the MSME sector is expected to lead the way with a 48.64 per cent share in the total credit growth outlook, followed by the agriculture sector, including infrastructure, at 36.71 per cent.

Meanwhile, State Level Bankers’ Committee’s annual credit plan has set a credit disbursal target of ₹1.45 lakh crore to the MSME sector under priority sector lending.

As of September 2023, ₹89,002 crore had been disbursed, representing 61 per cent of the target. However, progress in the agriculture sector has been slower, with only 34.21 per cent of the target achieved till September.

  • Also read:Nabard arm sees Karnataka millets sector growing by 18-20% over next 5 years

Addressing concerns about the declining credit share of cooperative banks and regional rural banks, Ramesh highlighted the need for capacity building and awareness initiatives to enhance their role in priority lending.

The West Bengal government has offered land to banks to open more branches in rural areas to boost credit flow.

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