ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Woman in Panchayat-Experiences of a Training Camp

and financial institutions.
While the Ninth Plan perceptions clearly emphasise the imperative need for providing adequate credit support to priority sectors, it is the credit policy which is at fault. RBI was perhaps carried away by the first flush of enthusiasm to implement the banking sector reforms on the lines of Basle norms and in the process neglected priority sectors. The phase 1991-96 could in fact be regarded as an unhappy episode in the history of monetary and credit policies: not only was the quantum of credit flowing to these sectors inadequate but also the interest rate regime became unfriendly. Fortunately winds of change are blowing in the RBI as the more recent appointment of two committees to look into the problems of credit flow to these sectors clearly demonstrates. Perhaps this is the beginning of the process of realignment of credit policy with the perceptions of the Ninth Plan, This neglect of priority sectors at the macro- level was exacerbated at the micro-level by the emergence of the new backing culture, with its emphasis on a 'quick kill'. The new culture also signalled the abdication of commitment to development. No doubt public sector banks have reattained the priority sector credit target in 1996-99 but it is the mindset of bankers which is yet to change. Public sector banks have such an excellent track record in penetratingthe rural sector and in reaching out to the mass of small borrowers; it should not be difficult for them to rediscover their sense of commitment to development.

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