Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Wonderful World Bank

The World Bank said on Wednesday(06.27.07)it had approved a $600 million loan for India to help it revamp thousands of ailing rural cooperative banks and fight village poverty through cheap loans.

"Better access to finance for India's rural poor is absolutely critical for higher rural growth, for reducing inequality and ultimately, alleviating poverty," Isabel Guerrero, the bank's country director for India, said in a statement.About 87 percent of marginal Indian farmers and 70 percent of small farmers have no access to credit from a formal financial institution, the World Bank said, adding they often have to rely on "extortionate" money lenders.
Thousands of farmers have committed suicide in recent years across India's sprawling western and southern plateau because they could not repay loans taken for their crops.The absence of cheaper credit prevents farmers from adopting the latest technology, or buying quality seeds and fertilizers.

A World Bank release said 12 states, which have signed the memoranda of understanding with the Government of India and the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural development include, Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Bihar,Gujarat,Harayana,Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Orissa, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand and West Bengal.