UPA government implementing long term programmes for inclusive growth, he asserts

Asserting that the Congress-led UPA government at the Centre has been implementing long-term programmes with foresight and vision, Union Finance Minister P. Chidambaram on Saturday came down on forces that fed on divisive politics.

In an oblique attack against those who sought to make short-term political gains by dividing the people so that only one section of the society was benefitted, Mr. Chidambaram said this approach to the governance was deeply antithetical to the Congress’s model of inclusive governance.

“Such a divisive approach could give rise to political sensation and short-term pleasantries but it will do no good to the next generations,” he said, inaugurating the education loan campaign organised by the Indian Overseas Bank here.

The UPA government accorded top priority in implementing education loan scheme as it desired that all sections of the society should get access to college and higher education. Stating that the benefits of education loans could be reaped after ten years, Mr. Chidambaram said Tamil Nadu, which benefited maximum from the loan scheme, would become the number one State in the country. He was happy it was on top right now, he added.

When the education loan scheme was launched, the loan outstanding was only to the tune of Rs. 3,000 to Rs. 4,000 crore. But now as on date, the loan outstanding amounted to a whopping Rs. 70,500 crore, he said, adding that a large number of beneficiaries were the wards of load workers and bus conductors, panchayat office clerks, washermen and hair dressers, he said.

Mr. Chidambaram appealed to the students to take insurance by paying a small premium, while availing themselves of education loans. The government paid a total interest of Rs. 2,231 crore to the banks on behalf of the students, he said. The banks should not send away students citing service area limitations, he added.

Later, participating in an ‘Education Loan Utsav’ organised by the Canara Bank in Pudukkottai, the Union Minister said the UPA government would always support the poor, farmers, Dalits, backward classes, minority, women and the differently abled. Loans were sanctioned to 10,001 students of 12 districts including Pudukottai, Tiruchi Thanjavur, Nagapattinam, Namakkal, Perambalur and Ariyalur. Of them, SC/ST students accounted for 1,299 and minority — 1,440.

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