Investigation into financial scandals never leads to logical punitive action
Under the DRI scheme, SBI will disburse loans ranging between Rs5,000 and Rs15,000 at 4% interest rate. The beneficiaries would have to repay the loans in 16 months
Dehra Dun: State Bank of India (SBI), the country's largest lender, today reactivated its differential rate of interest (DRI) scheme to provide loans to weaker sections as part of the financial inclusion programme, reports PTI.
Under the scheme, SBI provided loans to nearly 1,500 people to start entrepreneurial projects with the Uttarakhand government and urged other banks to come forward to launch similar schemes.
Loans ranging between Rs5,000 and Rs15,000 would be disbursed under the DRI scheme, said SBI officials, adding that the interest rate would be 4% in this regard.
SBI has given the beneficiaries 16 months to repay the loans, they said.
The bank also launched a pilot mobile van for providing banking services in the remote areas of the state. It will be fitted with biometric cards and driven by business correspondents.
“Under the financial inclusion programme, this van will be stationed on the roadside of a village where people will be provided banking facilities through biometric cards,” said Jyotish Ghildyal, chief manager of SBI here.
Welcoming the scheme, principal secretary finance of the Uttarakhand government Alok Kumar Jain urged the banks to play vital role in providing true financial independence in the country. Mr Jain also exhorted the self-help groups and NGOs to come forward and take benefits of these programme.
Mr Jain also complimented the SBI for launching the pilot mobile van and expressed hope that more such vans would be launched in all the remote areas of the state.
Besides fluctuation in foreign exchange rates, an increase in the price of DAP in international markets over the last five months has also led to a rise in the landed cost of the fertiliser
Chandigarh: The rise in the US dollar value against the rupee has led to a Rs3,500 a tonne increase in prices of di-ammonium phosphate (DAP) imported from other countries to meet the domestic requirement, reports PTI quoting a top official of Indian Farmers Fertiliser Cooperative (IFFCO).
“Rs3,500 a tonne is a direct impact of US dollar (appreciation against rupee),” IFFCO managing director US Awasthi told reporters here when asked about the impact of the rising dollar on domestic prices of fertiliser.
“Earlier, the US dollar was Rs45 and now it has reached Rs50 (against the rupee),” he said, adding that dollar appreciation had an impact of prices of fertilisers in the country.
He further said IFFCO has passed on the impact of the dollar appreciation to farmers.
IFFCO is eyeing the import of 6 million tonnes (MT) of DAP in the current fiscal, as against 8 MT of DAP last fiscal.
IFFCO imports fertiliser from various countries, including the US, Russia, Japan, Morocco, Tunisia, Israel, Jordan, etc.
Mr Awasthi said at present, IFFCO sells DAP at a price of Rs18,100 per tonne, while it gets a subsidy of Rs19,700 per tonne from the Centre.
Besides fluctuation in foreign exchange rates, an increase in the price of DAP in international markets over the last five months has also led to a rise in the landed cost of the fertiliser.
Mr Awasthi pointed out that IFFCO currently imports DAP at a price of $677 a tonne, as against $612 per tonne in the month of June.
Expressing concern over the indiscriminate use of fertiliser by farmers, the IFFCO MD emphasised on using green manure, bio-fertilisers and nutrient-enriched organic manure in a balanced manner for soil rejuvenation.
“The time has come to educate farmers to rejuvenate soil through the application of bio-fertiliser, green manure,” he asserted.
Demanding reform in the agriculture sector of India, the IFFCO MD said farmers should be allowed to sell their crop anywhere and to anyone so that they can fetch better returns.
“We need reforms in the state... Farmers should have a right to sell crop anywhere... It is the commission agents which fix rate of farm produce in mandis, (a practice) which must be abolished,” he said.
Mr Awasthi also stressed upon the need for greater investment in the farm sector of the country.