Special Correspondent

"Loans available on a platter to affluent"

  • Major thrust for rural development mooted for XI Five-Year plan
  • District Planning Committees should be formed

    Puducherry: The national council member of the Communist Party of India (CPI), R. Viswanathan MLA, has expressed his anguish over the "failure of the nationalised and commercial banks" in the Union Territory to relieve the poor of their hardships. "Banks are keen about mobilising deposits but are indifferent in implementing schemes for the betterment of the poor," Mr. Viswanathan told newsmen here on Wednesday.

    He said that he had brought this to the attention of banking authorities at a meeting held here recently and sought rectification of the situation. Most of the schemes evolved by the Government to the poor were virtually pushed to the backseat.

    Mr. Viswanathan said he was really bewildered to see that the affluent sections of people were handed loans on a platter while the plight of the poor and have-nots were left in the lurch. He said that most of the banks were shifting the deposits mobilised here to benefit the borrowers in other pockets.

    Mr. Viswanathan appealed to the administration to ensure that the XI Five-Year plan was framed with major thrust for the development of the rural areas and for toning up public distribution system. The District Planning Committees, as envisaged by elected civic bodies, should be formed and their views and suggestions should be accommodated in the draft five-year plan.

    Mr. Viswanathan said that the textile mills, now under the control of the State Government, should be integrated and run under one banner. The Sri Bharathi Mills and Swadeshi Cotton Mills should be brought under the purview of the Puducherry Textiles Corporation, which was running the AFT Mill since 1985.

    Land reforms were not implemented fast and consequently landless poor farmers were left to languish in Puducherry. All disputes on acquisition of lands should be settled soon.

    He said that funds earmarked for departments should be spent with much accountability.