books to small and marginal farmers, as well as micro enterprises.
Banks, including Standard Chartered, Citibank and HSBC, have more than 20 branches in India. Foreign banks in India will have to eventually lend 40 per cent
of their total loan book to the priority sector by 2020.
Banks have been complaining against this mandate, but the creation of a sub-target is likely to put them off even more.
In a notification on its website, RBI said a sub-target of 8 per cent of net bank credit, or credit equivalent amount of off-balance sheet exposure,
whichever is higher, “shall become applicable for foreign banks with 20 branches and above, for lending to small and marginal farmers from FY 2018-19.”
Another sub-target of 7.50 per cent, using the same criterion, would be levied to these banks from 2018-19 for lending to micro enterprises.
However, in a partial relief, the RBI on Thursday removed the prior condition that only loans of up to Rs 50 and Rs 100 million given to micro and small and
medium enterprises (MSMEs) would be considered for priority sector loans.
All bank loans to MSMEs will now “qualify under priority sector without any credit cap,” the RBI said in a notification on its website.
giving small value commercial loans. Besides, they also don’t have the reach in rural areas where these loans are needed. Now with the removal of such a
cap, banks can breathe a sigh of relief since in most years, they fail to meet their priority sector loan targets.