Agri-NBFCs seek parity with banks, want inclusion in govt subsidy schemes


In a bid to strengthen Agri-and help it become a significant contributor in financing the entire value chain of agriculture, the government may consider including these financial institutions in all state supported subsidy schemes and programmes.

The Agri sector have made a strong case for including them in various subsidy schemes and programmes of the government, a benefit hitherto available only to the Banks.

This is a demand that would be given due consideration while framing financing regulations for the agricultural sector, official sources said.

“This (inclusion of Agri in government programmes) will bring about certainty and predictability in the business of rural lending and make the system transparent in terms of policy implementation. Additionally, customer benefits will also significantly increase,” said Prabhat Chaturvedi, CEO, Netafim Agricultural Financing Agency (NAFA).

The government statistics suggest that more than 85 per cent of the farmers are small & marginal with less than 2 hectare of land and have less than 30 per cent access to formal credit.

To ease the access of credit and support the government’s ambition of financial inclusion, Agri-NBFCs have

UCO Bank logs net profit at Rs 35 cr in Q3, stock closes 1.55% higher


Public sector lender posted a net profit of Rs 35.44 crore in the third quarter ended December 2020 (Q3FY21) as against net loss of Rs 960.17 crore in the quarter ended December 2019 (Q3­FY20). Its net interest income (NII) in the reporting quarter was up 13.8 per cent at Rs 1,407.15 crore from Rs 1,236.59 crore in Q3FY20. Its stock closed 1.55 per cent higher at Rs 13.08 per share on BSE.

The Kolkata-based lender which is under Reserve Bank of India’s Prompt Corrective Action (PCA) regime due high incidence of bad loans and weak profitability reported improvement in asset quality ross profile.

Its gross non-performing Assets declined to 9.8 per cent in December 2020 from 19.45 per cent a year ago.

The net NPAs also declined to 2.97 per cent in December 2020 from 6.34 per cent a year ago. However, bank did not disclose NPAs on pro-forma basis assuming that Supreme Court granting interim stay on treating loans overdue for 90 days as NPA.

The Provision Coverage Ratio (PCR) increased to 91.22 per cent at end of December 2020 from 83.71 per cent

Gorilla Treated With Antibodies Recovering From Covid, Says US Zoo


An elderly gorilla was recovering from a serious case of Covid-19 after he was treated with cutting-edge synthetic antibodies, the San Diego Zoo said Monday.

Veterinarians are now identifying which animals to inject with the zoo’s limited supply of vaccines.

Winston, 48, was one of several gorillas among the San Diego Zoo Safari Park’s troop who were confirmed positive for the virus on January 11, based on fecal samples.

It was the first known case of natural transmission of the virus to great apes, and was suspected to have occurred because of contact with an asymptomatic staff member, despite the use of personal protective gear.

Winston, 48, was one of several gorillas among the San Diego Zoo Safari Park’s troop who were confirmed positive for the virus
 San Diego Zoo Global / Ken Bohn

“The troop was infected with a new, highly contagious strain of the coronavirus, recently identified in California,” San Diego Zoo Global, the nonprofit that operates the zoo and safari park said in a statement.

Two research groups in California have identified a homegrown strain that they believe was driving the Golden State’s year-end surge in infections.

The troop remained under close observation following the diagnosis, with

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