Business Standard

Loan mela comeback: Missed history lessons

The loan mela announced by Union FM Sitharaman is not new. It was initiated under Indira Gandhi's term and it failed miserably

Nirmala Sitharaman, Finance Minister

Nirmala Sitharaman

Amol Agrawal
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced that public sector banks will put up shamianas (colourful tents) in 400 districts to provide loans to retail, agriculture and SMEs. The policy was initiated to fight the slowdown but has brought back memories of similar loan melas from 1980s. These melas not just got Indian banks in serious trouble but also created a highly reckless credit culture in India whose effects continue till date.

In 1982, Prime Minister Indira Gandhi appointed Janardhan Poojary as Minister of Finance for state. The PM had nationalised 20 banks but was unhappy with their progress in rural India and
Disclaimer: These are personal views of the writer. They do not necessarily reflect the opinion of or the Business Standard newspaper

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First Published: Sep 26 2019 | 8:18 PM IST

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