- Regional Rural Banks
- India’s 6th Minor Irrigation Census
Union Finance Minister recently emphasised regional rural banks (RRBs) to upgrade their digital capability and increase penetration under Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana.
GS II: Indian Economy
Dimensions of the Article:
- What are Regional Rural Banks (RRBs)?
- Functions of RRBs
- Issues Related to RRBs
What are Regional Rural Banks (RRBs)?
Set up on the recommendations of Narasimhan Committee on Financial Inclusion in 1976.
- Can only operate in the areas specified by GOI.
- Objective of providing credit to the agricultural and rural regions.
- Financial strength and expertise of commercial banks and Grassroot problem awareness of cooperative societies.
- CRR and SLR limits apply
- CAR — 9%
- Not allowed to borrow under the MSF window.
- Union: 50%
- State: 15%
- Sponsor bank: 35%.
Functions of RRBs:
- To provide safety to the savings of customers
- To create credit and increase the supply of money
- To encourage public confidence in the financial system
- To mobilize the savings of public
- To increase its network so as to reach every segment of the society
- To provide financial services to all customers irrespective of their level of income
- To bring in social equity by providing financial services to every stratum of society.
Issues Related to RRBs
- Regional Rural Banks (RRBs) are operating at a higher cost than scheduled commercial banks, and many of their branches are losing money as a result of a lack of business.
- They primarily provide government programmes like Direct Benefit Transfer in rural areas. Currently, only 19 RRBs have access to online banking, and only 37 have mobile banking licences.
- Only RRBs that maintain a minimum statutory capital to risk-weighted assets ratio (CRAR) of more than 10% are permitted under current legislation to offer internet banking.
The Ministry of Jal Shakti has published the 6th census of minor irrigation schemes, covering the reference year 2017-18. This census follows five previous ones conducted in various years, with the latest being in 2013-14. The new census provides insights into the current state of irrigation practices in India.
GS II: Government policies and Interventions
Dimensions of the Article:
- Key Findings of the Report: Insights from the 6th MI Census
- Leading States in MI Schemes
- Minor Irrigation Schemes: Enhancing Agricultural Water Supply
Key Findings of the Report: Insights from the 6th MI Census
Distribution of MI Schemes
- A total of 23.14 million minor irrigation (MI) schemes documented in India.
- Groundwater (GW) schemes constitute 94.8%, while Surface Water (SW) schemes make up 5.2%.
Types of MI Schemes
- Dug-wells occupy the largest portion of MI schemes.
- Ranking: Dug-wells, shallow tube-wells, medium tube-wells, deep tube-wells.
Growth and Comparison
- Compared to the prior census, the 6th MI census indicates an increase of around 1.42 million MI schemes.
- Groundwater schemes experience a 6.9% rise, while Surface Water schemes increase by 1.2%.
Leading States in MI Schemes
- Uttar Pradesh takes the lead in total MI schemes.
- Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, and Tamil Nadu follow closely.
- Maharashtra excels in dug-wells, surface flow, and surface lift schemes.
- State leaders in different types: Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka, and Punjab for shallow tube-wells, medium tube-wells, and deep tube-wells, respectively.
Regional Distribution of SW Schemes
- Top states with SW schemes: Maharashtra, Karnataka, Telangana, Odisha, Jharkhand.
Ownership and Financing
- About 96.6% of MI schemes are under private ownership.
- Groundwater schemes: 98.3% under private entities; SW schemes: 64.2% under private ownership.
- Single-source financing for 60.2% of schemes, with significant contributions from farmers’ personal savings (79.5%).
- 39.8% of schemes rely on multiple sources of financing.
Inclusion of Gender Data
- First-time collection of gender data for MI scheme owners.
- 18.1% of individually owned schemes are owned by women.
Minor Irrigation Schemes: Enhancing Agricultural Water Supply
- A minor irrigation scheme pertains to an irrigation initiative that employs either surface water or groundwater for irrigating a cultivable command area (CCA) of up to 2,000 hectares.
- The Cultivable Command Area (CCA) refers to land suitable for cultivation that can be effectively irrigated by a specific scheme.
Classification and Components
- Minor irrigation schemes are categorized into two primary types and six sub-categories.
- Ground Water (GW) Schemes: Encompass dugwells, shallow tube wells, medium tube wells, and deep tube wells.
- Surface Water (SW) Schemes: Include surface flow and surface lift schemes.
Purpose and Benefits
- These schemes play a crucial role in providing farmers with controlled and timely irrigation, which is essential for the successful cultivation of modern high-yielding seed varieties.
- Characteristics: Labor-intensive, relatively short implementation period, and requiring reasonable investment for setup.