Freebies, subsidies alone won’t help development: FM

Sivaganga: Freebies and subsidies alone would not help in economic development and youth should seek self-employment, Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram said on Saturday. 
"If a country needs to grow, its people stand on their feet and see a strong economic growth, it cannot depend on freebies and subsidies alone. My high command and myself (as Finance Minister) have a clear direction on the progress of the nation," he said here inaugurating 17 branches of REPCO Bank in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry.
Noting that freebies and subsidies can be provided in the beginning, he said, it was the responsibility of the government to create jobs or self-employment for its youth.
"The UPA government has a clear vision of creating jobs for its youth. But there are hurdles. If the branch of a bank is opened, then a question is being raised…," he said.
"A friend of mine commented saying by opening bank branches, people have been made debtors. There is nothing wrong in taking loan for creating business and self- employment. Only taking bribe is wrong and not a loan…," he said.
He said it was "genuine" demand of the people seeking loan for various purposes like education, housing and agricultural activities.
The Finance Minister, who extended loan for youths who had started a Self-Help group (SHG), said youths should form more SHGs. The countries where people were self employed had the prospects of being strong country. "I have strong faith in that," he said.
The youths should choose a path and continue in that without any fear, having strong faith in their path of self development and self employment, he added.
Noting that his ministry had begun the process of converting REPCO Bank which has over 85 branches into a full-fledged bank in line with Indian Bank and Indian Overseas Bank, Chidambaram said he would take up the issue with Reserve Bank.