New Delhi, Oct. 24 (ANI): Finance Minister P. Chidambaram has asked financial institutions to lend more loans to poor, saying they (poor) are ethical, honest and deserving borrowers.
"The point which I have driven home so many times, the poor in India are not bad borrowers, the poor in India are not dishonest borrowers, the poor in India are ethical, honest, are deserving borrowers. Therefore, we must lend more to the poor," said Chidambaram while addressing a conference of bankers in New Delhi.
He added that corporate houses can easily get loans of Rs. 1000 crores (10 Billion) but here the poor face problems.
"In fact a big business house can easily raise a thousand crore rupees...They can even not pay their loans. The story is that if you are a small borrower you go after the bank and if you are a big borrower the bank is to go after you," he said.
Chidambaram added that if corporate borrowers are unable to pay the loan, it is the bank that suffers, not the borrowers.
Contrary to his statement, the pressure on banks to help poor and farmers has been ratcheted up in recent years, as cash-strapped farmers turned to money lenders charging interest as high as 12 percent a month.
There is also no government incentive for banks to lend towards irrigation or newer techniques to boost productivity and prevent drought. (ANI)