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Thursday, Jul 25, 2002

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Giving credit card where it's due...

Rajalakshmi Menon

MUMBAI, July 24

A POTTER or a carpenter in the remote village may soon be able to avail of bank credit through a plastic card.

The Finance Ministry has asked banks to examine the scope for enhancing credit to rural artisans. A working group of bankers has been formed to formulate guidelines for providing artisans with the credit card.

According to bankers, the credit card for the unorganised sector, particularly rural artisans, is expected to provide credit to those individuals who have credibility but no access to funds.

In the recent past, banks have been asked to look more seriously into funding of the unorganised sector. A credit card is expected to simplify procedures to enable rural artisans to get credit more swiftly and effectively. Thus, all artisans registered under the Development Commission of Handicrafts will now be covered under the new scheme.

The basic idea behind offering credit cards to artisans is that they should have access to simplified means of funds. A credit card, it is believed, will bring in several more rural artisans under the ambit of bank credit.

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