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

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Towards a Sociology of Delhi-Report on a Seminar

many tangible and viable projects forthcoming to be financed But can the banks claim that they have been earnest in providing finance to all die eligible small and medium borrowers, particularly in areas such as information technology? There have been reported instances of banks having left software and marine products entrepreneurs and exporters in the lunch at the last stage of the credit sanctioning process. Banks' performance in financing priority sector, IRDP and PMRY projects has also been lacklustre, even though the recovery experience in the state has been significantly better than in other states. Between 1988 and 1997 the priority sector to total credit ratio fell from 54 to 47. That there exists unsatisfied demand for credit in the state cannot be disputed. A recent report in a national English daily showed that housewives in villages in Trichur district borrow at exorbitant rates of interest from moneylenders from neighbouring districts of Tamil Nadu. There are apparently some 200 such mobile financiers operating in the district. Farm labourers, marginal farmers and construction and other casual workers form the customers of these shy locks. The quantum of loans, which are mostly taken for THE burden of being India's capital has weighed down Delhi's development in several ways. Although Delhi's population is blessed by higher public spending per capita than citizens elsewhere in the country, the role of the state in Delhi's affairs has been largely pernicious. Themes such as administrative centralisation, the paradox of a 'planned city' which is systematically subverted by its politics, and the estrangement which marks Delhi-dwellers, figured prominently in an Indo-French seminar on Delhi which was held few months ago. Entitled 'Delhi Games: Use and Control of Urban Space Power Games and Actors' Strategies', this seminar was jointly organised by the French Centre for Human Sciences and the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies, at the end of a five-year collaborative research project consumption purposes, is increased on the basis of the track record of repayment. This could be just the tip of the iceberg and such private moneylenders could be flourishing in the state's other districts as well Fearing the high transaction cost involved in financing small borrowers, banks may be hesitant to enter this area for possible business development. But the phenomenon suggests that there is scope for enlarging micro-credit delivery through linkage with self-help groups. Banks can take the initiative in forming such self-help groups in the villages.

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