TAMIL NADU

`State should decide on reducing interest rate on farm loans'

ERODE, AUG. 1. The State Government has to take a decision on reducing the interest rate on agricultural loans. The National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) is granting only 30 per cent credit to the Primary Agricultural Banks (PACB) as refinance and remaining 70 per cent is given by the PACBs, said the Union Finance Minister, P. Chidambaram, here last night talking to presspersons.

Mr. Chidambaram visited two nationalised banks at Chengapalli and Karumandichellipalayam and the Erode District Cooperative Central Bank's branch at Perundurai and inspected the agricultural lending.

He promised that steps would be taken to recover the long pending loans in all sectors. He wanted bankers to advance liberally to agriculturists and self-help groups.

The Erode Handloom Cloth Merchants Association president, R.S. Nataraja Mudaliar, and textile manufacturers expressed their gratitude to the Minister for repealing the Central Value Added Tax. The Postal Small Savings Agents pleaded with the Minister to permit them to canvass for all deposits made in the Post Offices.

At Chengapalli, Mr. Chidambaram was accorded a reception by the Union Minister of State for Industries and Commerce, E.V.K.S. Elangovan, and others. At Erode, the Minister of State for Social Welfare and Social Justice Subbulakshmi Jagadeesan; the Erode Collector, D. Karthikeyan, received the Minister.

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