ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Protest by Nurses

their point of view; the panchayats would know, more intimately than the bank officials, the conditions in a village ami what its special requirements are; they are also in an incomparably better pisition to locate those who belong to the weaker sections, the improvement of whose lot is one of the principal objectives of the Integrated Rural Deve- lopment Programme, As far as the banks were concerned. all this was water on duck's back. The government of West Bengal interceded once more; to allay the apprehension of the banks, it agreed to counter- guarantee each and every financial guarantee the panchayats would sign to ensure bank finance to individual borrowers under the schemes; it also agreed to underwrite loans taken by the panchayats themselves. No go, the banks did not relent, Finally, the state government sought the help of the Reserve Bank of India which sent across a Doputy Governor to mediate. Under his surveillance, a foolproof form of contractual agreement involving the banks, the panchayats and the government of West Bengal was drawn up; each time a bank would be approached for a loan for a project sponsored by the panchayats under the IRDP scheme, this form was to be signed by the three parties, and the bank's money would be safe. Thousands of copies of the form were despatched to the branches of the banks all over the state.

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