The loan mela organised by the Indian Overseas Bank here on Wednesday saw disbursement of loans to the tune of Rs. 38,317 crore to over 654 people.

This included education loans for over 135 people, loans for 83 Self Help Groups, loans for over 217 farmers, loans for about 30 people for horticultural vegetation in urban locales, and tractor loans for over 14 persons.

Further, under the Indira Awaas Yojana, loans assistance for houses would be provided to over 5000 people for the current year. Under the scheme, IOB provided loans to the tune of Rs. 13.60 lakh that included a loan amount of Rs. 20,000 per head to over 72 people at an interest rate of 4%. Similarly, houses under IAY in the district would be eligible for a loan amount of Rs. 20,000.

Speaking on the occasion, Collector C. Munianathan stated that over 300 million children were born malnourished. Of them, over 83 million were born in India. Under these circumstances, horticultural crops with their natural fruits and vegetables were the greatest source of food security, he said. It was laudable that the IOB was lending Rs. 10,000 per head for horticultural cropping practices. Further, families in urban centers should avail the facilities for creating organic horticultural gardens to ensure food security of their families, he said.

R. Muthusamy, Chief Regional Manager, the IOB stated that interest rates would be reduced by one per cent for those customers as an incentive for the timely repayment of loans secured during the current year.