Country’s largest lender, the State Bank of India (SBI), has exchanged a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Warehousing Development and Regulatory Authority (WDRA). The MoU will promote loans against electronic Negotiable Warehouse Receipts (e-NWR) issued by WDRA-registered warehouses. Shri Dinesh Khara, Chairman, SBI, and Shri T. K. Manoj Kumar, Chairman, WDRA exchanged the MoU today at the SBI Corporate office, Nariman Point. The signing ceremony was also attended by Shri Alok Kumar Choudhary – Managing Director (RB&O) and other senior dignitaries from State Bank of India and Shri Mukesh Kumar Jain – Member and Sai Pradeep G – Assistant Director (SAO) from WDRA.
The MoU will improve pledge finance against e-NWRs and promote warehouse registrations with WDRA. SBI, in association with WDRA, will provide financing and organize farmer awareness and capacity-building programs for farmers to manage and operate the services offered by e-NWR, effectively. In addition, the MoU will also facilitate joint inspection of the financed warehouses to ensure operations and maintenance standards.
The bank has taken this step to encourage seamless flow of farm credit to individual farmers against pledge/hypothecation of agricultural produce and leveraging the inherent safety of e-NWRs issued by the warehouses registered and regulated by WDRA. To support the agrarian growth, RBI had recently enhanced the loan limit from ₹50 lahks to ₹75 lakhs per borrower against e-NWRs for classifying under the Priority Sector Lending.
On the signing, Mr. Dinesh Khara, Chairman SBI, said, “We are happy and privileged to contribute to India’s agri-economy and support the government’s initiatives. Our focus is to uplift ~60% of the Indian population engaged in farming by enabling them through our value added offerings. With this collaboration, we will provide all the necessary aid to the agricultural sector by increasing their financing options.”
To increase liquidity in the rural areas, State Bank of India has launched Produce Marketing Loan (PML) for farmers to be issued against e-NWRs by WDRA registered warehouses. The product will be a short-term demand loan (max. 12 months) for farmers at a competitive rate of interest, with a waiver in processing fees and collateral security. Pledge finance, especially those against e-NWR will help small and marginal farmers to avoid distress sales immediately after harvest when the prices are usually low. Farmers can safely keep their farm produce in warehouses registered with WDRA and can avail of finance from SBI for liquidity.
This is one of the many initiatives undertaken by SBI to support Indian farmers.