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Differences surface at inaugural venue

By Our Staff Reporter

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM, NOV. 25. Political differences between the State and Central Governments surfaced at the inaugural function of the State Bank of India's Kerala circle here today.

The Electricity Minister, Mr. S. Sarma, in his presidential address attacked the lending policies of the bank saying that the credit deposit ratio had declined considerably from the 1996 level despite the earnest efforts of the State Government to improve it. Though the Government had held talks with the bank authorities several times it had not yielded any result. The ratio has gone down considerably below the desired level, he said.

Mr. Sarma also criticised the new economic policies pursued by the Centre and the move to privatise the banking industry. The State Government is against the policy and would oppose it, he said.

The Union Minister of State for Railways, Mr. O. Rajagopal, in his inaugural address too did not spare the State Government. He said that Kerala lacks a healthy industrial milieu and though the people had money, they were unwilling to invest in the State as the climate was hostile to industrialists.

He also said that Kerala has missed the bus as far as industrialisation was concerned. If the banks were not lending in the State it was due to lack of viable proposals and a hostile climate, he said.

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