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General Credit Card Scheme



Rajesh Goyal 


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What is a credit card ?


In simple words, credit card term is used for a small plastic card issued by a bank or financial organisation,  allowing the holder to purchase goods or services on credit.   Usually credit cards are used to either withdraw cash or make purchases at stores for their day to day needs.  However, in India RBI has introduced special credit cards known as Kisan Credit Card and General Credit Card, which are issued to specific category of rural / semi-urban people for their agriculture production needs and other small business needs.


What is a General Credit Card Scheme:


RBI has formulated broad guidelines for banks for issuance of General Credit Cards and within those guidelines, each Bank floats its own scheme of General Credit Card.  We give below these guidelines.  Readers will need to refer to specific scheme of bank to avail the facility under such schemes.


All Credit Card (e.g. Artisan Credit Card, Laghu Udyami Card, Swarojgar Credit Card, and Weaverís Card etc.) catering to the non-farm entrepreneurial credit needs of individuals are covered by General Credit Card Scheme.   As the GCC is intended to cover all entrepreneurial credit the onsumption credit extended to individuals is not be reported under FIP reports to RBI.  However, Consumption credit provided by banks is reported separately under the head of Overdraft (OD)/consumption credit in the FIP.



1. Objectives


The objective is to increase flow of credit to individuals for entrepreneurial activity in the non-farm sector provided through the General Credit Card.


2. Eligibility

All non-farm entrepreneurial credit extended to individuals, which is eligible for classification under the priority sector guidelines.


3. Coverage

The scheme shall cover the entire country.


4. Nature of financial accommodation


Any credit facility extended under the Scheme would include both working capital and term loan requirements of entrepreneurs. The GCC, preferably, may be issued as a Smart card / Debit card (Biometric smart card compatible for use in the ATMs / Hand held Swipe Machines and capable of storing adequate information on entrepreneurís identity, assets and credit profile etc.). Wherever the accounts are not digitized, the GCC may be issued as a card/pass book or a credit card cum pass book incorporating the name, address, photograph of the holder, particulars of borrowing limit, validity period etc. for the time being which will serve both as an identity card as well as facilitate recording of the transactions on an ongoing basis.



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5. Quantum of credit limit


There will be no ceiling on the loan amount as long as the loan is for the purpose of non-farm entrepreneurial activity and is otherwise eligible for classification as priority sector. The limits should be fixed on the basis of risk assessment on a case to case basis.


6. Security

Security norms will be applicable as per Reserve Bank guidelines on collateral free lending for micro and small units issued from time to time.


7. Rate of Interest


To be decided by banks in terms of their Board approved policies within the overall guidelines issued by Reserve Bank on interest rates from time to time.





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