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Bankers give members of SHGs a patient hearing

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SHOOTING A QUESTION: A member voicing her opinion at a meeting held at Chekkanoorani on Monday.
SHOOTING A QUESTION: A member voicing her opinion at a meeting held at Chekkanoorani on Monday.

Staff Reporter

Hundreds of self-help group members take part in meeting

MADURAI: Meetings organised by banks usually tend to be placid affairs with speakers resorting to an array of financial and technical terminology that are beyond the comprehension of the laymen.

However, the meeting organised at Chekkanoorani in the district on Monday took most of the 300-odd self-help group members in the audience by surprise. K.R. Anandha, Regional Director, Reserve Bank of India (RBI), along with a host of top RBI officers and officials from different banks gave centre stage to SHG members at an interaction meeting organised as part of the platinum jubilee year celebration.

After an inaugural function, they took questions from the members and answered all of them patiently. A trickle at first, the questions soon turned into a torrent.

One SHG member wanted to know why all banks did not have the same interest rates. Mr. Anandha told the woman that different banks had different systems of assets and liabilities and that RBI no longer micro-managed interest rates.

“We are more concerned about ensuring the timely flow of credit to consumer and hence the banks have a free hand in determining interest rates. Only with regard to agriculture loans at public sector banks, a rate of 7 per cent has been fixed,” he told her.

When another woman asked why the groups of ‘Mahalir Thittam’ (Tamil Nadu Corporation for Development of Women) were given preference while giving economic assistance, bank officials said that it was a policy decision of the State Government over which they had no say and were duty-bound to follow.

However, RBI officials assured the woman that this question had cropped up in many places and it would be brought to the notice of the Government.

Many SHG members thanked the Canara Bank for having established a separate branch for micro finance as it had resulted in their loan applications getting expedited.

Also, sanctions to 418 loans to the tune of Rs. 5.22 crore was given on this occasion with the RBI Regional Director giving away the letters.

S. Selvaraj and N. Ramasubramanian, Assistant General Managers, RBI; Chandini Mool Chandani, Deputy General Manager; K.P. Pai, Assistant General Manager, Canara Bank, and KN. Subramanian, Lead District Manager, were present.

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