TAMIL NADU

Don't get politicised, Minister tells SHGs

Centre keen to strengthen self-help group concept

Special Correspondent

THANJAVUR: The Union Minister of State for Finance, S.S. Palani Manickam, today appealed to women self-help groups (SHGs) in the State not to get politicised and remain independent.

Distributing loans to the tune of Rs.3.25 crores to 454 women SHGs and educational loans to the tune of Rs. 33 lakhs to 30 students and Rs.5 lakhs as loan for 11 beneficiaries under the Prime Minister's Employment Scheme, the minister said that the concept of SHGs was mooted by late Murasoli Maran and implemented by M. Karunanidhi during his tenure as Chief Minister during 1989-91. The present United Progressive Alliance Government at the Centre was interested in strengthening the concept.

Banks, which remained frustrated owing to non-performing assets, were finding the SHGs a boon to them. The rate of recovery of loan disbursed to SHGs was good and hence they were keen to promote SHGs by sanctioning loans to them. Out of the total loans sanctioned to SHGs , the recovery rate was 98.5 per cent. The groups should be independent and maintain their self-respect and should not act as agents for any political party during elections.

"You should be above politics. Out of the total loans given here, there was not even a single recommendation from me and the banks decided the beneficiaries after considering certain yardsticks" the Minister said.

V. Gomati Nayagam, General Manager, Indian Overseas Bank, the lead bank of the district, said that IOB was in the forefront in extending loans to SHGs. IOB has so far disbursed Rs. 336.69 crores to 83,654 SHGs. In the last year alone IOB had disbursed 143.15 crores loan to 32,402 SHGs in the country. In Tamil Nadu alone the bank had disbursed Rs. 74.24 crores to 14,884 SHGs.

R. Vaidyanathan, Senior Regional Manager, Indian Overseas Bank, Sri Ramanan, Deputy General Manager of Indian Bank, P. Jagadeesan, Assistant General Manager, State Bank of India, N.V. Bhaskaran, Assistant General Manager, National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD), S. Kulasekaran, Lead District Manager, IOB, Rajendran, Manager, Dena Bank, M.N.V. Aiyer, Assistant General Manager, Central Bank of India and Balasubramanian, General Manager, City Union Bank Limited participated in the meeting.

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