Banking on agriculture sector the Indian Overseas Bank plans to explore the possibility of setting up two specialised agriculture loan branches in East and West Godavari districts, Chairman and Managing Director of IOB M. Narendra said.

The bank has 40 special agricultural branches across India with most of them in Maharashtra and Karnataka. Given the tremendous scope in the district the bank is exploring the possibility of opening new branch here, he said addressing the media after inaugurating the new premises of the bank’s regional office here on Monday.

The bank is exploring another exclusive segment – urban horticulture – and is promoting the scheme aggressively.

There are already 100 applicants for the scheme in the city and four of the applicants received their letters from the bank CMD. Under the scheme customer can take a loan for raising kitchen garden, roof garden, flower garden and small orchards in urban areas. The beneficiary can be individuals, professionals or businessmen having steady income. The loans for individuals is from Rs 25,000 to Rs 2,50,000 and for institutions the loan amount is between Rs 2,50,000 and Rs 25 lakh, the bank CMD said.

The bank is also promoting educational loans and is offering loans to students of nearly all the courses, including nursing, diploma, evening courses, and also for management quota seats, he said and clarified that the bank was not bound by service area limits.

The bank is taking up a campaign to recover outstanding and bad loans, he said. The non-performing assets of the bank grew in the last quarter, he pointed out and said that the borrowers should have exhibited prudence in restructuring their loans when it was offered in 2008-09 and not wait for the loans to go bad. If they had taken the opportunity for restructuring their loan by now they would have had more investible funds and been on a path of recovery, he opined. Bank’s Chief Regional Manager S Krishna Prasad and a number of senior bank officials were also present.

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