Cong wants banks, cooperatives to provide credit for women

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New Delhi, Feb 20 (UNI) The Congress has asked Finance Minister P Chidambaram to pay special attention to the empowerment of women in his General Budget 2008-09, which includes access to credit from commercial and cooperative banks and not simply micro finance.

A party delegation, led by Women and Child Development Minister Renuka Chowdhary, met Mr Chidambaram yesterday and put forth a set of demands.

Briefing reporters today, Congress spokesperson Jayanti Natarajan said the delegation wanted the FM to waive loans for widows and farmers who commit suicide due to debt.

It also asked for a health insurance cover for women through decreasing the premium amount in insurance purchases.

Pointing out that poor women were increasingly being excluded from formal sources of finance and had to resort to borrowing from money lenders at a high interest, the Congress said women should be given access to all forms of credit, especially from commercial banks and cooperatives, and not simply micro finance as emphasised now.

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