Regional Rural Banks (RRBs)
One of the important points of the 20 points economic programme of Mrs. Indira Gandhi during emergency was the liquidation of rural indebtedness by stages and provide institutional credit to farmers and artisans in rural areas. It was in pursuance of this aspect of the New Economic programme that the Government of India setup Regional Rural Banks (RRBs) on 1975. The share capital of RRB is subscribed by the Central Government (50%), the State Government concerned (15%), and the sponsoring commercial bank (35%).
The main objective of the RRBs is to provide credit and other facilities particularly to the small and marginal farmers, agricultural labourers, artisans and small entrepreneurs so as to develop agriculture, trade, commerce, industry and other productive activities in the rural areas.
From the beginning, the sponsor banks have continued to provide managerial and financial assistance to RRBs and also other concessions such as lower rate of interest (8.5 per cent) on the latter’s borrowings from sponsor banks. Further, the cost of staff deputed to RRBs and training expenses of RRB staff are borne by the sponsor banks.
The RBI has been granting many concessions to RRBs:
(a) They are allowed to maintain cash reserve ratio at 3 per cent and statutory liquidity ratio at 25 per cent; and
(b) They also provide refinance facilities through NABARD.
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