Oppn ''misleading'' SHGs on loan waiver: CM

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Hyderabad, Nov 12 (UNI) Appealing to women Self Help Groups (SHGs) not to be carried away by the Opposition party's promise to waive loans secured by them if voted to power, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y S Rajasekhara Reddy today said his government was committed to develop Sircilla into a model town by enrolling women in the ''handloom town'' as SHG members.

Addressing the 164th State-level Bankers' Committee meeting here, he said, ''It is practically impossible as the state does not have the resources for waiver of loans advanced to SHGs and the Opposition is only paying lip service to SHGs.'' No financial system can survive without prompt repayment of loans by borrowers,'' he said.

''Every woman in Sircilla will be enrolled as an SHG member to enable them earn a decent living,'' he said and urged the bankers to liberally advance loans to these SHGs to overcome socio-economic problems being faced by these families following a glut in the handloom sector.

''SHG members, who have interacted with me said they are happy with the subsidised interest rate of three per cent offered by the government and are eager to repay their loans to be eligible for subsidy being provided by us,'' Dr Reddy claimed.

Objecting to some banks forcing the SHG members to take an insurance policy while sanctioning loans for them, the Chief Minister made it clear that banks should not act as insurance agents.

''There is much resentment among SHG members,'' he added.

Andhra Bank Chairman and Managing Director and SLBC president R S Reddy immediately promised to ensure reversal of any amount collected by ''over-enthusiastic'' branch managers from SHG members.

The CMD said the state stood first in the country in advancement by banks to SHGs. Banks in the state had so far achieved 64.55 per cent of the loan advancement target of Rs 11,037 crore to over nine lakh SHG members. Banks in the state had advanced Rs 5124 crore to 7.10 lakh SHG members last year, exceeding the target by 15 per cent.

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