People's Democracy(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)
June 18, 2006
LF Govt Asks Banks To Increase Loan Amounts
Towards Employment Generation
WITH the objective of enhanced generation of employment firmly in view, the Bengal Left Front government has recently exhorted upon state-sector banks to increase the amount of money disbursed by them to projects in such sectors as cottage and small industries, medium-size industries, agriculture-dependent areas, self-help groups, and self-employment programmes.
The Bengal Left Front government was led during the talks with the bank representatives by chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee. Also participating in the discussion were finance minister Dr Asim Dasgupta, Manab Mukherjee who looks after the cottage and small-scale industries department, and Rekha Goswami who is the minister for self-help groups and self-employment.
The following points were communicated to the state-sector banks:
There are 3,82,000 self-help groups in Bengal; the number will increase by another 1.5 lakh within the current financial year (FY); the banks should be ready with loan components for the additional 1.5 lakh self-groups as well
The percentage of loan repayment of the self-help groups range from 85 per cent to 90 per cent
The banks should provide loans to at least 2.5 lakh self-help groups in the current FY
The banks should come up with loans amounting to Rs 4000 crore in the agriculture-dependent sectors for the current FY (the amount during the last FY was Rs 2970 crore)
The banks should provide loan to the tune of Rs 2250 in the cottage and small industries in the current FY (the amount in the last FY was Rs 1380 crore)
The loan for the medium industries for the current FY should at least be Rs 5000 crore
The loan component in the banks’ credit-deposit ratio should be increased from 55 to 60 per cent at present to at least 60 per cent
The number of bank branches should increase from the present ratio of one branch per 18,000 people
Additional bank branches should be set up in each panchayat
The bank representatives said that they would organise training of personnel involved in the self-employment drive, the self-help groups, and in cottage and small industries. They would also help in the marketing of products put out by these sectors.
A review meeting between the Bengal Left Front government and the bank representatives should henceforth be held every three months. The district administration will sit in discussion with the bank representatives every month. The Bengal Left Front government would provide all assistance to the banks in accelerating further the generation of employment in the state.