Vijaya Bank bags NABARD award for microfinance

The National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) has awarded Vijaya Bank the first prize (indirect category) in the credit linkage to self help groups (SHGs), for the year 2003-2004. M S Kapur, chairman and managing director of Vijaya Bank received the award from R V Deshpande, the Karnataka minister of co-operation.

Speaking at the ceremony, Kapur said that Vijaya Bank has credit linked 3,500 SHGs in Karnataka during the year 2003-04 with a financial assistance of Rs8 crore. Cumulatively, bank has so far credit linked 13,000 SHGs, of which 8,600 SHGs are in Karnataka. Recovery of loans granted to SHGs is as high as 95 per cent.

Kapur also suggested that a regulatory body should be set up to co-ordinate lending to rural sector and also requested NABARD to lower the interest rates on refinance to enable banks to increase credit flow to rural sector substantially. Vijaya Bank has received a similar award for its operations in Andhra Pradesh for the year 2004.