Jammu: Making a strong pitch for creating linkages of finance in Indian-administered-Kashmir, Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Governor Raghuram Rajan on Saturday expressed hope that this will help integrate the state with the rest of the country and empower young local entrepreneurs.
"We are taking measurable short-term initiatives... I think Jammu and Kashmir is in a better position in making the state easy for financing, which can be a model for the rest of the country to emulate," the governor added.
Speaking at a luncheon meeting with Rajan on Saturday, Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti called on premier banking institutions to reach out to the state's young and budding entrepreneurs by helping them establish viable business units. Several other issues related to banking operations in the state came up during the meeting. The discussions also dwelt on a 12-point plan aimed at putting together a stronger financing structure in the state that goes beyond conventional banking.
Mehbooba is hopeful that Reserve Bank of India will exert more pressure on banking firms in the state so that small and medium enterprises have hassle-free access to loans.
"We seek better cooperation of banks in creating ample opportunities of employment for the youth in the state," she said.
Exhorting financial institutions to broaden the scope of their business operations, Mehbooba suggested that lenders should focus on priority sector lending in the state, particularly for tourism, handicraft, handloom, agriculture and allied segments with a huge job potential.
The chief minister also requested the RBI governor to expedite working out modalities for establishing banking facilities for cross-LoC trade. Rajan stressed on branding of handicraft products by popularising logos and bringing tour operators, hoteliers and other stakeholders under one platform to aggressively promote J&K as a niche high-end tourist destination.
Mehbooba sought Rajan's help in facilitating institutional finance for setting up model villages for basmati, apple, mint and milk. She made out a case for improving visibility of nationalised banks in un-banked areas.