Assocham flays political pressure in SBI farm loan move

May 22nd, 2008 - 7:11 pm ICT by admin  


New Delhi, May 22 (IANS) A leading trade and industry chamber Thursday said the State Bank of India (SBI) was forced to rethink its decision on tractor loans after political intervention, which it described as an unhealthy practice. “It seemed that the SBI came under heavy political pressure from various quarters, including bureaucracy, which forced it to withdraw the circular which is not a healthy practice in a vibrant democracy like that of India,” said Venugopal N. Dhoot, president of the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (Assocham).

“As a result of withdrawal of this particular circular, the balance-sheet of the SBI would adversely be affected and its profitability would erode to a great extent as the bank issued the circular as a pressure practice to effect its recoveries,” he added.

According to Dhoot, most farmers will not adhere to their loan repayment schedule and ultimately would mount a pressure on the government for a waiver of their loans for buying tractors and other farming equipment.

“SBI should withdraw its circular and political parties should also observe certain patience not to pressurize the bank to take economic de

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