Eligible candidates will not be denied loans: Chidambaram

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Puducherry, Jun 1 (UNI) Stating that no eligible candidate would be denied educational loans, Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram today said the UPA Government at the Centre had extended educational loans to the tune of Rs 12,000 crore to 12.51 lakh students in the country.

Declaring open the 'Bharathiyar Regional Rural Bank,' sponsored by the Indian Bank here, he said educational loan of Rs 59.29 crore was provided in Puducherry at the end of March 2007 and will rise upto Rs 75.94 crore at the end of December 2008, an increase of 27 per cent.

The annual plan allocation for the Union Territory was enhanced from Rs 1,450 crore during 2006-07 to Rs 1,750 crore during 2007-08, registering a 20 per cent increase. This showed ''extraordinary'' development of the Union Territory, Mr Chidambaram said.

He said by the end of this year, all the banks in the country would implement online provision for educational loans, which was already adopted by six or seven banks in the country.

Action should be initiated within 24 hours if a complaint of an eligible candidate being denied loan or asked to provide security was received, he added.

Mr Chidambaram said 6,000 women Self-Help Groups out of the total 12,000 in Puducherry, were provided loan and the government was prepared to extend loans to the remaining 6,000 SHGs if they meet the eligibility criteria.

He also appealed to those taking loans from the banks to be prompt in repayment.

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