`Our agricultural loan target in the coming fiscal is Rs 2,25,000 cr'
LOAN DISTRIBUTION: The Union Finance Minister, Mr P. Chidambaram, and the CMD of Indian Overseas Bank, Mr T.S. Narayanasami, at a function organised by the bank in Coimbatore on Sunday.
Coimbatore March 11 The Union Finance Minister, Mr P. Chidambaram, on Sunday termed the Union Budget 2007-08 `a green budget' aimed at transforming the rural/agricultural economy.
Speaking at a function organised to mark the opening of the 1,627th branch of the Indian Overseas Bank at Vadavalli in Coimbatore, Mr Chidambaram said, "If 1997 budget was `dream budget', the 2007 one is a `green budget', as it aims to uplift the country's agricultural economy and achieve the four per cent growth in that sector."
Banks, he pointed out, play a vital role in extension of credit. "Our agricultural loan target in the coming fiscal is Rs 2,25,000 cr," he said and expressed confidence about the banks surpassing this target.
Loans amounting to Rs 15.85 cr were distributed to 320 beneficiaries on the occasion.
The IOB Chairman, Mr T.S. Narayanaswami, said the bank achieved a total business volume of Rs 1,05,000 crore till date. "We will be celebrating the 78th year of the bank by retrieving our branch in Thailand. It will come back into IOB fold. The 100-odd branches of Bharat Overseas Bank will also come under our umbrella before the close of this fiscal," he said.
He later told press persons that the bank was planning to strengthen its presence abroad.
"We already have a strong presence in Hong Kong, Bangkok and Singapore. We are the only public sector bank to have established our presence in Seoul. We have a representative office in China and Malaysia. We have an approval from the regulator for setting up our presence in Vietnam. We initially will have a representative office here and open a branch in say two years. Our request for opening a branch in New Zealand is pending with the RBI."
While stating that all the overseas branch of the bank were doing well, Mr Narayanaswamy said about 10 per cent of its total revenue was from the branches abroad.