Take initiatives to do more than mere lending.

Bankers are back in the news. For the obvious reason they think that with the Securitization Bill they can recover the NPAs easily. Some of the high profile banks, notably ICICI have attached industrial properties.

The Supreme Court had passed a rider: banks can’t sell the assets and also run the companies, if attached. So very soon some sober thought will come.

The other day we saw a TV talk show anchored by Prannoy Roy in which RBI governor and the top economics brain Prof.Jagdish Bhagavathi participated. Of course, there was much light in their talk. But all they talked was about surplus food stock and other higher issues. Not one word about how our poverty can be tackled or wealth can be generated. The point we want to stress is that neither bankers nor economists are any guide to creation of wealth. This task has been the domains of the highly educated, the IT entrepreneurs or the least educated, the farmers’ community!

Mr.K.V.Kamath says that Indian economy is already growing at 8% level, or something in that spirit. We agree with his view that the current calculations done take the new weightage for some sectors. National Highway development project, Gram Sadak Yojana, the proposed river waters grid plus the new etc. More important is what Mr.Kamath says about the NPAs of banks. He says the bad debts in China amount to 50 per cent of the GDP!

We at this journal have personal experiences where bankers, by and large, still behave like pawn brokers, not anywhere near being model bankers! State-level bankers meet in Bangalore noted how banks are unable to lend to agri graduates to set up agri clinics and agri-business. Is it a joke to set up agri business ventures?

Only 15 graduates financed in Karnataka so far! Graduates need training and also much mentoring, do you know? Nabard needs total revamp. The Rural Infrastructure Development Fund (RIDF) is seen as a fraud on the panchayats for which institutions, SHGs, NGOs for which it was created. Is this all about our emerging governance norms? No one asks? No one is concerned? We say: farmers don’t have the enthusiasm to engage in agri production expansion anymore. There are no markets expansion, no exports. There is no liberalization of the agri sector, farmers or entrepreneurs are not willing to borrow and invest in agri projects. Right?

Lending farm credit is no priority with banks. Bankers talk of recovery only. Bankers and officials talk and farmers are nowhere in the interactive sessions.

Image Source  : indianbanks.org

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