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SELLING LOANS: Visitors at the stalls of the two-day `loan ustav' organised by the State Bank of India in Gulbarga on Friday.
SELLING LOANS: Visitors at the stalls of the two-day `loan ustav' organised by the State Bank of India in Gulbarga on Friday.

Special Correspondent

They faced the challenge after the economy was opened in 1991, says ZP Chief Executive Officer

GULBARGA: Gulbarga Zilla Panchayat Chief Executive Officer Pankajkumar Pandey on Friday lauded Indian banks, which warded off the threat of foreign banks that entered India in 1991 when the economy was opened up.

Mr. Pandey was inaugurating the two-day "loan utsav" organised by the State Bank of India (SBI) at the Hyderabad-Karnataka Chamber of Commerce and Industry (HKCCI) auditorium.

He said when the economy was opened up, everyone was apprehensive that Indian banks will not be able to meet the challenge of professionalism of foreign banks. About the importance given to housing sector by banks, Mr. Pandey said in the last five years, the housing policy of the Government has undergone crucial changes.

Mr. Pandey said the Government encouraged people to own houses by offering liberal loans, and the banks too offered attractive interest rates. The banks have a vital role in the development of other sectors.

He complimented the SBI and Krishna Grameena Bank for offering to implement the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme launched in the district.

Joint accounts

He said under the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme, all wages will be paid through crossed cheques and they will be credited in the joint account of husband and wife of the family concerned to ensure that wages earned are spent properly.

This would also encourage thrift among the beneficiaries. For this, the banks will have to open accounts of those who register their names in the employment registers compulsorily.

In Gulbarga district, the SBI and Krishna Grameena Bank have agreed to speed up opening of the accounts of beneficiaries.

Along with the banks, the Post Office Savings Accounts are being opened in the name of those who register their names in the employment register in places where banks do not exist.

Credit cards

Mr. Pandey said that in two years, the implementing agency plans to provide credit cards to beneficiaries who have accounts. With the Gulbarga district being included in the National Horticulture Mission, the banks have a greater role to play in disseminating technical information to farmers about horticulture.

The branches of banks in the district should acquire technical knowledge about horticulture to provide these details to farmers.

SBI Business Office Assistant General Manager Vijaymohan explained the highlights of the "loan utsav" and said the applicants will be provided loans at a concession.

For housing loans, the advances will be provided at 7.5 per cent interest and personal loans will be provided at 11.75 per cent interest.

Assistant General Manager of the bank (Personal section) S. Krishnamurthy spoke. Housing Branch Manager C.R. Nagendra welcomed the gathering.

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