Speaker : Dr. Ashutosh Kumar Tripathi (NIBM, Pune)
Following the financial sector reform, the definition of what constitutes finance to agriculture under priority sector witnessed a series of changes either in form of expansion of coverage or increase in ceiling limit. These changes, introduced by RBI, were part of strategy to facilitate the banks to achieve the same quantitative target without neglecting the viability of the financial institutions. In this context, the study examines the issue – has the expansion of the scope of what constitutes finance to agriculture under priority sector resulted in the greater availability of credit to the agriculture sector? And also its impact on access to credit by small and marginal farmers. The study examine these issues at all India level by analyzing the extent and distribution of agricultural credit in the light of changes introduced in the scope and extent of agricultural lending under priority sector.