Porayar: Farm credit in the country is growing at a satisfactory pace and may touch Rs2,35,000 crore this fiscal, Finance Minister P Chidambaram said on 9 December.
From an estimated target of Rs2,25,000 crore, farm credit is likely to rise by Rs10,000 crore in 2007-2008, he said inaugurating the 2,878th branch of the Bank of India (BOI) at the nearby temple town Tirunallar in Puducherry.
Chidambaram said the government was according top priority for agriculture and would continue doing so in the future too.
Listing out various measures taken by the government for the welfare of farmers, Chidabmaram said that the interest rate for farm credit had been lowered to 7%.
Chidambaram pointed out that banks in India have sanctioned Rs14,500 crore as educational loans, benefiting 10 lakh students till September this year.
“India occupies first place in the world in providing education loans,” he said.
The Finance Minister further said that the government had planned to provide education assistance to the tune of Rs1,500 crore to 15 lakh students belonging to minority communities over a period of five years.
Stating that women’s self-help groups were functioning effectively in many parts of the country, Chidambaram called upon all district collectors to focus on bringing in economic prosperity through efficient management of such groups.
Referring to the growing popularity of domestic air travel in the country, Chidambaram said it indicated the extent of money flow among the masses.
“Though such money flow cannot bring in huge development, it will certainly help in the development of certain sectors,” he said.
Chidambaram said that the economy of the country was growing at 9% and the banks in the country had played a vital role in the economic development.
BOI chairman and MD,T S Narayanaswamy, said the bank had more branches in rural areas than in urban and its credit flow for priority sectors stood at 43.7%.
Earlier, Chidambaram accepted the first deposit for the branch from Krishnaswamy, Executive Officer of Lord Saneeswara Temple, Tirunallar.
He also distributed education, agricultural and industrial loans to many beneficiaries.