Archive for the 'FINANCE & BANKING' Category

Indian Railways exploitation of backward and tribal areas of Orissa: confronting Railway Board Chair with the facts in Toronto

Balasore - Niligiri (defunct?), Baripada - Bangiriposi (under constr.), EXPOSING ANTI-ODISHA-GROWTH SCHEMES, FINANCE & BANKING, Gajapati, Ganjam, Interstate disputes on Water and rivers, Jaroli - Deojhar .. Chaibasa, Kandhamala, KBK Plus district cluster, Keonjhar, Koraput - Rayagada, Mayurbhanj, Nayagarha, Odisha Consumer Welfare Foundation, Paradip - Jatadhari - Kujanga, Railway maps, Rajathagara - Nergundi, Rayagada, Samaja (in Odia), Sambalpur, Sonepur, Sundergarh, Talcher - Barang, Titlagarh - Jharsugurha Jn, Tomka - Jaroli, Uncategorized 3 Comments »

Following is the news report on the discussion (almost a confrontation) with the Railway Board Chair, as reported in India Abroad. The basic premise behind our grievances against Indian Railways and our demands is simple.

  • Indian railways is scheduled to make 2500-3000 crores/year from Orissa, but spends only 1000 crores/year on Orissa in terms of new lines, doubling and gauge conversion.
  • Its current plan for major spending includes freight corridors, metro rails, and high speed rails, none of which touch Orissa. It plans to do gauge conversion of 12000 kms, most of which is unprofitable (this proves that Indian Railway lies when it says it only does profitable lines), very little (less than 100 km) of which is in Orissa.
  • Orissa is already behind the national average in terms of rail density and way behind its neighbors such as West Bengal and Bihar. If no changes are made to the 11th plan IR allocations Orissa will further fall behind.
  • Indian Railways must not take money from its profit in Orissa, and spend it else where, until it takes care of proper connectivity to Orissa’s tribal, backward and maoist infested areas. The 2500-3000 times 5 = 12,500 -15,000 crore that Indian Railways will profit from Orissa during the 11th plan must be spend in new lines in Orissa until the (i)-(v) lines below and other port and mine connectivity lines are completed during the 11th plan.
  • To Mr. Jena’s retort that Mumbai earns so much in taxes and not all of it is spent in Mumbai; we reply that it is often acceptable to take from rich and give to poor; But when did it become acceptable to take from poor (Orissa) and give to rich (freight corridors etc. in other states)?

The lines in Orissa connecting to the tribal and backward areas that we demand to be finished during the 11th plan are:

  • (i) Khurda Rd – Nayagarh – Balangir: Lack of connectivity was one of the reasons a recent Maoist mayhem happened in Nayagarh. It seems after recent events, including the confrontation with the Railway Board Chair and various dharanas in Bhubaneswar, IR has started responding to this demand, but not to the extent to promise its completion during the 11th plan. Note that Balangir is the B in the KBK districts that are the most backward in India.
  • (ii) Lanjigarh Rd – Junagarh – Nabarangpur – Jeypore – Malkangiri – Bhadrachalam Rd in Andhra Pradesh: Only small part of this is approved. Most of it is not even surveyed. In the long run this will really bring those parts of Orissa closer to the rest of Orissa. This is the most important connection and has to be take care of at the earliest. Like the approved Vijaywada-Ranchi highway, this line will create an alternative Hyderabad – Ranchi path passing through backward and tribal areas of Andhra Pradesh, Orissa and Jharkhand. This line will connect the Kalahandi and Koraput districts, the two K’s in KBK. The recent Maoist attack and killing of the Greyhound forces in Malkangiri might have been prevented if this line existed as then the forces would have used the train rather than being seating ducks taking a boat across a lake in Malkangiri.
  • (iii a) Rayagada – Gopalpur: This has been surveyed and but work on it has not started. Note that Rayagada is part of the undivided Koraput district, one of the K’s of KBK. This line could come under port connectivity and will be a viable line connecting the industries near Rayagada with the upcoming port in Gopalpur.
  • (iii b) Gunupur – Theruvali: This will add to the Naupada-Gunupur line and make it an economically viable line. (IR and Mr. Jena agree about its importance.) This line will be completely inside the Raygada district, part of the undivided Koraput district, one of the K’s of KBK.
  • (iv) Talcher – Bimlagarh (connectivity to the tribal district of Sundergarh): This line has been approved but is only being given a few crores each year, which is less than the inflation. This line will reduce the distance between Sundergarh district and teh coastal areas significantly. For example, it will make Rourkela only 4-5 hrs from Bhubaneswar.
  • (v) Baripada/Buramara – Chakulia: This line will connect the tribal district of Mayurbhanj to tribal areas of Jharkhand. It will add to the Rupsa-Baripada-Bangiriposi line and make it an economically viable line. (IR and Mr. Jena agree about its importance.)

All these lines can be completed if Indian railways just suspends its practice of taking from poor (Orissa) and giving to the rich for only a few years (may be just 3-4 years). The following maps show the above mentioned lines.

Microstate branch of Indian Bank to come up in Bhubaneswar

Banks, Bhubaneswar- Cuttack- Puri, Khordha, Microfinance Comments Off on Microstate branch of Indian Bank to come up in Bhubaneswar

Following is an excerpt from a report in Business Standard.

Indian Bank is set to open four more “Microsate” (a satellite branch for micro loans) branches across the country by the end of 2007, taking the total number to 12. These would come up in Bhubaneswar, New Delhi, Pune, and Bangalore.

The public sector bank was the first bank to introduce exclusive microcredit branches to provide credit to self-help groups (SHGs). It currently has eight exclusive microcredit branches, including the one opened in Chennai (second branch in the city) on Saturday.

According to MS Sundara Rajan, chairman and managing director, Indian Bank, so far 6,982 groups have been provided a credit of Rs 56.42 crore through Microsate branches, which also provide non-credit services like training, counselling and marketing besides catering to the credit needs of the urban poor.

“The bank has so far credit-linked over 2.30 lakh SHGs to the tune of Rs 1,545.48 crore. To meet the needs of the urban poor in Chennai, a Microsate branch was opened in May 2005 in Chetpet. The branch has so far covered over 101,000 families in Chennai. Consequently, six more branches were opened in Patna, Vijayawada, Hyderabad, Nadiad (Ahmedabad), Kollam (Kerala) and Kolkata during the first half of the current fiscal 2007-08,” he said.

JM Financials to invest in Spandan involved in Micro finance in Orissa

Microfinance 3 Comments »

Economics Times has a report on JM Financial’s investment in Spandan, a micro finance company. The report has the following mention of Orissa.

JM Financial India Fund, a private equity fund sponsored by JM Financial and Old Lane Partners, will invest Rs 40 crore in Spandana, a microfinance company. …

The micro-finance company caters to lower income borrowers located in rural and urban areas in Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Orissa and Tamil Nadu through a network of 300 branches with a client base of over 10 lakh.

Grain bank helps tribals in Koraput district

AGRICULTURE & FARMING, Grain banks, Koraput, PHILANTHROPY, SHG, DISTINGUISHED NGOS & FOUNDATIONS, RURAL & SPECIAL PROGRAMS Comments Off on Grain bank helps tribals in Koraput district

Business Standard reports on this. Following are some excerpts.

… When several other tribal families are taking loans from the middlemen to maintain their family, 42-year-old Bati has not approached the landlord for the last three years.

Instead, she is taking a loan of grain from the grain bank in her village with a nominal grain interest to maintain her seven-member family.

“Three years ago, we were forced to borrow from the money lender to maintain our family during the rains. The grain that we used to produce went into paying the money lender,” she said.

… “We have developed our grain bank with contribution from the villagers and with support of South Orissa Voluntary Action (SOVA), one of the leading NGOs in the district,” says Gopa Jani, the president of the village committee of Puki.

For setting up the grain bank, each and every household in the village contributed food grain, including paddy and maize. In addition, SOVA contributed an equal quantity to make it a corpus fund of food grain. The grain was stocked in the traditional way in bamboo baskets to protect from insects and managed by a village committee.

“A borrower has to pay an interest of two kg and one kg for 10 kg of maize and paddy, respectively,” says Jani. The loan is repaid by the borrower after harvesting. Puki village has 69 households with a population of 244, and no one now approaches the money lenders for loans, he said.

“The grain bank helps a lot during the lean period from July to September, when we do not get any work,”…

In his village, with 22 households, mostly Kandha tribals, people borrow grain mostly in the rains.

Since last three years, grain banks have been setup in 18 villages in three panchayats of two blocks including Koraput and Kunduru.

“About 928 households of these villages have benefited from the grain banks,” Sanjeet Patnaik, president, SOVA, said. “We are trying to setup more grain banks in coming years,” he added.

The tribal people in Koraput, generally practice podu (shifting cultivation) and collect minor forest produces. Koraput has about 50 per cent tribal population.

Syndicate Bank and Indian Overseas Bank plan social schemes

Banks, Education and Training Vilalgers, Ganjam, Jatropha, Kalahandi, Koraput, Koraput- Jeypore- Sunabedha- Damanjodi, Rayagada, Rayagada- Therubali 2 Comments »

Business standard reports that Syndicate Bank and Indian Overseas Bank plan several social schemes involving training villagers. Following are some excerpts from that report.

Syndicate bank said it would take up extension activities in all its rural branches for educating and training villagers in different aspects of agriculture, animal husbandry, plantation and fish rearing.

Indian Overseas Bank (IOB) said it would organise at least three training camps for women in southern Orissa during 2007-08.

“We have decided to organise at least three training camps on tailoring, handicraft and beauty therapy for rural women in southern Orissa towns at Rayagada, Jeypore and Bhawanipatna” …

At Jeypore in Koraput district, the bank has decided to impart training to the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe women.

In Rayagada, training to be given to the weaker section people.

Similarly in Bhawanipatna, the district headquarters of Kalahandi district, women in general categories will get training.

In each camp, scheduled to start in July or August, at least 20 women would be participated.

The respective branch managers would select the women to get training, he said …

After getting training for a fortnight, they would receive financial assistance from the bank for establishment of units in various fields.

“Our corporate office has agreed for three training camps initially and if more number of women come forward for skill and entrepreneurship development, more number of camps will be organised” …

Syndicate Bank would conduct 58 extension activities during 2007-08.

The bank’s Berhampur branch has recently held a farmers’ meeting on jatropha plantation at Narendrapur in Ganjam district in collaboration with the Orissa Nature Care & Council (ONCC), an organisation imparting training on jatropha cultivation for bio-diesel.

ONCC provided technical know-how and inputs for jatropha planting while the bank was financing farmers, …

Syndicate Bank offered Rs 10,000 to each of the 55 farmers in the village for taking up of jatropha plantation, …

Jatropha cultivation was done in about 105 acres in the village.

Syndicate bank would donate Rs 10,000 each for renovation and cleaning of ponds in 10 villages during the current year.

ICICI Bank will collaborate with Utkal University in setting up courses in banking and insurance

Banks, Bhubaneswar- Cuttack- Puri, INSURANCE, Khordha Comments Off on ICICI Bank will collaborate with Utkal University in setting up courses in banking and insurance

Tathya reports that ICICI Bank will collaborate with Utkal University to start courses in banking and insurance. I guess this will be mutually beneficial to both Utkal University and ICICI Bank. The later will get a good pool to hire its employees.

ICICI Bank Regional hub in Bhubaneswar: to employ 15,000 eventually

Banks, Bhubaneswar- Cuttack- Puri, ICICI, Khordha, Uncategorized 1 Comment »

Tathya reports that ICICI Bank will sign an MOU with Orissa government to set up a call center and back office operation for banking and insurance. This center to be located in Infocity will eventually hire 15,000 graduates from normal colleges. In terms of the number of people they will hire, this is a big deal; much bigger than the overhyped POSCO or Mittal deals. ICICI Bank will not use our mines; will not pollute our atmosphere; will not displace people; and will only need 12 acres and yet will hire 15,000 people. Orissa should be going after more such companies and less of the metal and mining kind.


ICICI CEO Mr. Kamath visiting Orissa on the 26th

Banks, INVESTMENTS and INVESTMENT PLANS Comments Off on ICICI CEO Mr. Kamath visiting Orissa on the 26th

Tathya’s running headline said that ICICI’s CEO Mr. Kamath is visiting Orissa on the 26th.

Organizations and banks that provide microfinancing in Orissa

Microfinance Comments Off on Organizations and banks that provide microfinancing in Orissa

Following is a partial list of organization and banks that provide micro-financing in Orissa.

The Microfinance Gateway may be  a good place to further explore micro-finance issues with respect to Orissa.