Staff Reporter

Company to be formed to promote the venture

KOCHI: Fisheries Minister S. Sarma has said that a proposal to set up an aqua-tech park in Koch is under the Government's consideration.

He was addressing a meeting of the district-level banking committee organised under the aegis of the Union Bank of India here recently.

The Minister said the proposed aqua-tech park would be similar to a facility in Singapore and that a new company was being considered for promoting the project. He appealed for banks' cooperation in setting up the company.

P.S. Shaila, district panchayat president, and M.M. Monaye and A.M. Yusuf, MLAs were present at the meeting. Ms. Shaila urged the banks to help in the development of the coastal areas of the district.

Assistant General Manager of Union Bank of India M.P. Varghese promised that the banks would cooperate in setting up the aqua tech park.

The meeting was convened to assess the performance of the bank during the current year.

During the year so far nearly Rs. 866 crore had been disbursed in various types of loans. Of this, Rs.397 crore was disbursed in the priority sector taking the priority lending up by 43 per cent. This was 40 per cent more than the prescribed percentage. In the priority sector, Rs.160 crore went to the agriculture sector and Rs.221 crore to the service and industrial sectors.

It was expected that lending to the industrial sector, as per a Union Government target, would be doubled over the next five years, said V.C. George, Lead District Manager. He appealed for cooperation of banks in achieving the lending target of Rs.4.46 crore under IRDP and SGSRY schemes.

The targeted number of loans under the PMRY scheme is 2,900.

Sam C. Itticheriya, General Manager of the Ernakulam District Industries Centre, said the district had been able to achieve the target for the PMRY scheme during the past years because of cooperation between the banks and the Industries Department.

Lead Bank officer of Reserve Bank of India Antoney Kochumuttam and Assistant General Manager of NABARD Venkat Subramanyam were among those who present at the meeting.