The West Bengal chief minister, Mamata Banerjee, might often claim to have achieved 99% of her pre-poll commitments with little less than two years of her regime, but the state government failed to even arrange a joint delegation with the bankers to study the successful self-help groups (SHG) model in Andhra Pradesh in the last one year.
The bankers have squarely blamed the state government for its sheer negligence in managing the same, which would have been the first step in promoting the SHGs, considered to be the grassroots of any selfemployment scheme.The decision to send the joint delegation was taken at a joint meeting of the representatives of the state government and banks operating in West Bengal way back in December 2011.
Besides the chief minister, the state finance minister, Amit Mitra, and top officials of the state finance department were present at the meeting.The issue gains immense significance in view of the fact that the bank credit linkage to such SHGs in West Bengal has been alarmingly low during the ongoing financial year of 2012- 13.
As per records of the State Level Bankers’ Committee (SLBC), West Bengal, a joint body of the representatives of the state government and banks, as against the target of 1.3 lakh SHG credit linkages in the state for 2012-13 only 30,227 SHGs were linked at the end of September 2012, which is just 20.18% of the target.
The frustration of the bankers on this issue is reflected at the minutes of the two meetings they had with senior state government ministers and officials in the last one-and-a-half months, where the bankers have squarely blamed the state government for not arranging the delegation visit till date.“As decided in the last year’s meeting with the Honourable Chief Minister (December 2011) state government and banks to send a delegation to Andhra Pradesh to study the SHG-bank credit card linkage implemented in AP,” read the “Action Points” subsection of the minutes of the meetings.
“Yet to be arranged by the state government,” read the supplementary “Action Taken” sub-section of the same minutes, copies of which are available with the Hindustan Times.