Kerala government threatens to withdraw operations from banks

Thiruvananthapuram, Aug 13 (IANS) The Kerala government might consider pulling out all its banking operations from commercial and scheduled banks due to their indifferent attitude to repeated demands for people-friendly schemes, a state minister said on Thursday.

“Since the indifferent attitude of commercial and scheduled banks to Kerala government’s repeated demands for people-friendly schemes have fallen on deaf ears, we might consider pulling out all our banking operations from these banks and turn to cooperative banks. Already, we rely heavily on cooperative banks,” Home Minister Ramesh Chennithala told the media here.

He said Chief Minister Oommen Chandy and he himself had pleaded at a state-level bankers committee meeting that these banks make educational and small loans more people-friendly.

“I am deeply disappointed they have not done anything. We know of some new generation banks who do not even provide educational loans. The credit deposit ratio in Kerala has to be beefed up,” said Chennithala.

Chennithala said his department was engaged in rounding up unregistered moneylenders operating in the state.

“Under Operation Khubera, the home department has carried out 14,124 raids on money lending institutions, registered 3,199 cases, arrested 2,121 people and confiscated Rs.4.6 crore,” said Chennithala.

“We approached commercial and scheduled banks to fill in the vaccum created by moneylenders, but they did not do anything. Only the cooperative sector responded. We will wait and see if there’s any improvement,” the minister said.

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