With regard to widespread complaint of bankers demanding interest for education loans even during the term of the course, Union Home Minister Chidambaram on Thursday said certain bankers collected interest from beneficiaries simply because the official communication about the Union government reimbursing the interest portion during the course period had not reached them on time.

However, education loans granted prior to 2009-10 financial year, would not qualify for interest reimbursement and the beneficiaries would have to pay interest even during their course period, he clarified.

He was addressing an ‘education loan mela,' organised by the District Consultative Committee of Bankers, Kancheepuram District, at Chengalpattu.

Ample job opportunities

Stating that banks were granting education loans to students considering that such long-term investment in ‘capacity building' of youngsters would fetch them good returns, Mr. Chidambaram called upon the students to live up to the expectations of bankers by repaying loans without fail once they got good jobs.

“Youngsters need not have to worry about job prospects. Emerging India has lot of job opportunities to offer to youngsters. For instance, in the banking sector alone there is wide scope of job opportunities as this sector is expected to provide not less than a lakh jobs in near future. It has been estimated that 6,000 to 8,000 new branches will be set up every year by various banks in next few years. To be more precise, Indian Bank is all set to open 190 new branches this year, while the State Bank group is likely to open 1,500 branches. Apart from banking sector there is ample job opportunities in insurance, motor, iron and steel, tourism, transport, health and other sectors,” he said.

In Kancheepuram district alone Rs.19.94 crore had been distributed as education loan to 3252 students during this financial year.

Participating in the meeting, Labour Welfare Minister T.M. Anbarasan said the entire education fee to be paid by first-generation students, hailing from poor families, for pursuing certain degree courses was borne by the State government.

“All that they have to do is to remit the examination fees and obtain their degree certificates after successfully completing their course. Further, nearly one fourth of total income of the State government was allocated to education department,” he added.

Collector Santosh K.Misra spoke. Senior officials from various Banks, MPs and MLAs participated.

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