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Kerala assembly censures banks for denying education loans

Friday June 22, 2012 06:15:48 PM, IANS

Thiruvananthapuram: In a rare show of political unity, the Kerala assembly Friday censured erring banks that refuse to sanction educational loans.

Moving a motion, treasury bench legislator Thomas Unniyadan called for the attention of the house that banks in the state, despite Reserve Bank of India guidelines and three different rulings by the Kerala high court, were saying no to students who approach them for educational loans.

"This is the season when students approach banks for educational loans. The banks are playing spoil sport in not sanctioning the loans for the needy. The government should come up with measures to rein these erring banks," said Unniyadan.

The state today has more than 40,000 engineering seats besides an equal number in medical and paramedical courses. Out of these more than 80 percent seats are in the professional self-financing colleges.

Chief Minister Oommen Chandy has assured the house a special meeting of all legislators to tackle the issue Monday.

"Already the state government has held two meetings with the State Level Bankers Committee. We will meet Monday and see how we can tackle this issue," said Chandy.

Numerous legislators pointed out that while the Indian Banks Association have clear guideline of educational loans for students seeking admission, colleges that are recognised should give loan up to Rs.four lakhs without collateral security or sureties -- but this does not happen.

"Education loan is a right of the students but these banks do not do their duty despite clear cut guidelines. We will ask all the legislators who are behind this issue to see that they take part in the District Level Bankers Committee. We will also give necessary directions to the district collectors to see that this issue is raised and brought to the attention of the leading banks in every district," said Minister for Rural Development K.C. Joseph.

Joseph also added that the issue will be taken up to the highest level with the chief minister's Delhi visit in first week of July.

In April, a nursing student Shruthi, from Kottayam, committed suicide after failing to to get an education loan.

Following a huge public outrage, the police arrested the bank manager, who recently got bail.

"If the state government does not act fast, there will be more number of Shruthi's committing suicides," said Unniyadan.





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