With government's view to make higher education available to the masses, education loan portfolio of the public sector banks is likely to record a hike of 50% in the current fiscal.
As per the government and Reserve Bank of India, education loans come under the priority sector lending category. Banks have to lend a minimum of 40% of their total loans to the priority sector.
Loans given to sectors such as education, housing and SME are categorized under the priority sector lending.
The finance ministry has anticipated the education loan portfolio of PSU banks to reach to Rs 30,000 crore by the end of the current fiscal as compared to Rs 19,816 crore at the end of the last fiscal.
"This is for the first time that it has crossed the Rs 25,000-crore mark. This has been possible because of the aggressive disbursal plans of PSBs," said a finance ministry official.
As per the Indian Banks' Association (IBA) data, the total education loans disbursed by the public sector stood at Rs 26,303.62 crore as on December 31st, 2008.
Since March 2004 the education loans have reported a growth of 600%. The education loans percentage in the banks' total loan portfolio has increased with time. Earlier in 2004, education loan comprised of 0.64% of the total advances and now they have increased to 1.25% of the total advances.
Moreover IBA has directed the banks to give 50 basis points rebate on an education loan to the girl child.
Most of the education loans in the country are taken to pursue higher education that consists of education after the higher secondary level.