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Posted on Dec 06, 07:09PM | UNI
Describing the overall financial condition of West Bengal as 'tight' in the midst of a nationwide economic downturn, RBI Governor D Subba Rao today hailed the public sector banks for improving the state's Credit-Deposit ratio to 63 per cent during the first half of the current fiscal.
Speaking to reporters here this evening after the apex bank's annual board meeting, Mr Rao, flanked by four Deputy Governors- Mr K C Chakraborty, Mr H R Khan, Mr Subir Gokarn and Mr Anand Sinha - said during a state-level meeting here this morning with the public sector banks and in presence of state Finance minister Amit Mitra it was revealed that the banks had been able to come to very near to reaching the 65 per cent target by September this year, coming out from a dismal situation till last year.
'On the basis of the success of the state based banks to take the state's C/D ratio to 63 per cent(of the yearly target of 65 per cent), we have decided to upgrade the target further to 68 per cent during the next fiscal,' the RBI governor said and hoped that the revised target was very much 'achievable'.
Describing the performance of each of the state's 18 districts in rejuvenating the C/D ratio was not 'praiseworthy', Mr Rao said eight South Bengal districts performed below expectations and as a result the C/D ratio in these districts was hovering around only 40 per cent during the first six months of the current fiscal.
Accordingly, the RBI had set a fresh target of 45 per cent in terms of C/D ratio for these eight non-performing districts in West Bengal for the current year, while no decision was taken for them for the next year, he said.
Among these eight south Bengal districts are Burdwan, Birbhum, Bankura, Purulia, Hooghly, Nadia and North 24 Parganas, he said.
Referring to his re-scheduled meeting with Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee at the Writers' Buildings this evening, the RBI governor said apart from discussing the possibility of further improvement of the C/D ratio in the state they would discuss the non-inclusion of any of the 18 districts in West Bengal in the Union government's on going Electronic Benefit Transfer scheme in 51 districts in different states.
Under the scheme, all those participating in any Central government employment generation project would receive direct financial benefits through banks, instead of any middlemen, by having a bank account in any public sector bank.
'We have also decided to include at least six district in West Bengal under the pilot scheme and ensure that all the needy people there would receive direct cash benefits from banks,' Mr Rao explained.
Such a policy had nothing to do with the current inflation and the national growth policy, he said replying to a related query.
On whether RBI was contemplating any step to contain the high rate of inflation which was currently hovering around 7.5 per cent ,Mr Rao said apart from constantly monitoring the situation and take suitable measures time to time, the issue was being reviewed at every meeting.
'We shall again review the situation in our next review meeting scheduled for next month,' he said to another questioner.