Politicians say the over cautious approach of banks towards beneficiaries of welfare schemes is costing the public, while bankers say they can’t bend lending rules to please politicians.
The chief minister proposes and the bureaucracy disposes is one way of looking at the CM’s welfare programmes in the State. The fact that the Congress rule has entered its penultimate year before the 2014 general elections is giving sleepless nights to the CM camp. If one looks at the statistics, most of the vote-catching welfare schemes of the State government are lagging behind in achieving their targets.
Some of these schemes include farmers’ welfare programmes like crop production loans and term loans. Women welfare schemes like Self Help Group – Bank Linkage Programme, are aimed at empowering women by providing them with loans and other benefits. There are also disability welfare programmes.
While the State government set up a target of disbursing `15,844 crore towards term loans and other activities in the current fiscal year, it could only achieve `10,695 crores by the end of January 28 this year.
When it comes attaining targets of women welfare programmes, majority of them are lagging. Under the Self Help Group-Bank Linkage Programme, the State government was able to disburse `7,799 crore as against the target of `11,027 crore. The status of disability welfare programmes has shocked even the cabinet ministers. Out of an outlay of `600 crore for extending loans to disabled people in the State, the bank authorities could disburse only `54 crore to the beneficiaries.
Commenting on this, minister for women, child and disabled welfare V Sunitha Lakshma Reddy agreed that the attitude of the banks towards beneficiaries of various schemes is the reason why they lag behind in achieving the target set by the State government.
“In most of the cases, the beneficiaries are finding it difficult to avail their legitimate loans due to over cautious attitude of the banks. We have asked the banks to take steps in order to avoid inconvenience to the beneficiaries by being flexible to their needs,” she said. The minister also said as public representatives, they are facing the wrath of the public for the delays in delivery of welfare programmes. Banks are keeping mum about the political outcry, but bankers drop hints that lending rules can’t be bent to please political bosses.