Bhubaneswar: Odisha chief minister Naveen Patnaik Saturday handed over cash prizes to best bank branches for core sectors lending.

Champion Banks for these 3 core sectors received Rs.5 lakh for first prize, Rs.3 lakh for second prize and Rs.2 lakh for third prize.

In the farm sector lending, the SBI Jaipatna ADB branch Kalahandi received the first prize, Axis Bank Berhampur branch received the second prize and SBI Semiliguda branch Koraput received the third prize.

For MSME lending, Bank of India Jayadev Vihar Branch Khurda received the first prize, PNB Balasore branch received the second prize and UCO Bank Jaypore branch received the third prize.

For lending to Women SHGs, UCO Bank Bhogarai Balasore received the first prize, SBI Salepur ADB Cuttack received the second prize and SBI Sadheipalli Sundergarh received the third prize.

Besides as best performing banks, the following banks were felicitated by the Chief Minister for the year 2022-23. Odisha State Cooperative Bank for agriculture, SBI for MSME, Odisha Gramya Bank for Women SHGs were felicitated.

Similarly for the year 2021-22, Khurda for agriculture, Cuttack for MSME and Balasore for WSHGs were felicitated as Best Performing Districts.

Besides the CM’s award, the finance department will also issue Appreciation Certificates to 270 bank branches for their good performance under the 3 categories of priority sector lending.

Speaking on the occasion, the CM said that credit to Agriculture, MSME and Mission Shakti Groups is a pre-requisite for building a strong economy. He said this while giving cash awards to Champion Banks for providing credit to these core sectors

Speaking on the occasion, the CM said, “I attach utmost priority to the three fundamental pillars of our economy- Agriculture, MSMEs and Mission Shakti Groups. Budgetary provisions for these sectors have been substantially increased and we are also providing Interest Subvention to reduce the interest burden on the people.”

He further said that adequate availability of credit to core sectors like Agriculture, Allied Sectors, MSMEs, and Women SHGs is a pre-requisite to build up an economy with strong foundation.

Underlining the importance of women self help groups, the CM said that Mission Shakti Groups of the State have immensely contributed towards strengthening rural economy. The Government is providing them interest subvention up to Rs. 5 Lakh loan. Through Mission Shakti Scooter Yojana, they are empowered to market their products and expand their business. Bankers need to complement our efforts to help them get transformed to SMEs.

He urged all banks to come forward for this noble cause.

He congratulated all the award winning banks and hoped that these banks will be an inspiration for other banks for enhancement of credit disbursement to these priority sectors.

He informed that for the current financial year, the State has fixed an ambitious Annual Credit Plan target of Rs 1.60 Lakh Crore. He expressed confidence that all districts and banks will work closely to achieve the ACP target and fulfill the aspirations of the people of my State.

Saying that Odisha has created a new milestone by achieving 100 percent target under Annual Credit Plan of Rs. 1 Lakh 35 Thousand Crore for the first time in the Financial Year 2022-23, he urged the banks to continue this momentum.

Speaking on the occasion, finance minister Bikram Keshari Arukha said that the state’s economy has grown faster than the national economy during the last 10 year. Credits to our core sector is an essential policy direction of our Government to spruce up the economy.

Principal secretary finance Vishal Dev welcomed the meeting and director Institutional Finance Pragyanasmita Sahoo proposed the vote of thanks. Among others, development commissioner-cum-ACS Anu Garg, principal secretary Agriculture & Farmers Empowerment Dr. Arabinda Kumar Padhee, principal secretary MSME Saswat Mishra, secretary Mission Shakti Sujata R. Karthikeyan, regional director RBI Sarada Prasad Mohanty were also present.