Crop loans to be rescheduled

Banks to simplify procedure for encashment of relief cheques

think tank:  (From L) Development Commissioner M R Sreenivasamurthy, Chief Secretary  S V Ranganath, Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa, SLBC Chairman Basanth Sait and RBI Regional  Director B Srinivas at the State-Level Bankers’ Committee meeting at Vidhana Soudha in  Bangalore on Thursday. dh photo

Chief Minister Yeddyurappa, briefing the media after a State-Level Bankers’ Committee (SLBC) meeting, said at this juncture his Government was not in a position to waive off farm loans. “I should have enough money before making an announcement. As of now the Government’s attention is only on rescheduling of loans and providing shelter for the affected”, he said.

The State government convened the meeting at a short notice to involve the bankers in providing relief and succour to the flood-victims.

The CM said all commercial banks had agreed to reschedule crop loans and also issue fresh loans. Short term loans would be converted into medium-term loans and medium-term loans into long-term loans. They would hold credit camps to provide loans to the victims.

Besides, they had decided to simplify the procedure to encash the relief-cheques, he said. The Government had been issuing only crossed cheques, which would be credited to accounts of the payee. As most of the victims had no bank accounts they were finding it difficult to realise their cheques. The banks had decided to open zero-balance accounts with minimum verification of records. Moreover, they would not charge commission for DDs to relief fund for flood victims.

Loan at 4 pc interest
Yeddyurappa said the government had appealed to the bankers to offer loans to those who lost their shelter at 4 per cent interest. The banks had agreed to extend loans up to Rs 50,000 for the purpose. The Government would provide seeds and fertilisers for the farmers, who take up cultivation in the rabi season, with 75 per cent subsidy.

Earlier, Chief Secretary S V Ranganath and Development Commissioner M R Sreenivasamurthy appealed to the bankers to assist the Government in addressing the crisis. SLBC Chairman Basanth Sait said the bankers would extend all help. In addition, all banks assured that the employees would contribute one-day’s salary towards the relief fund. A representative of Cauvery Kalpataru Bank handed over a cheque of Rs 8 lakh, one-day salary of its employees, to the CM on the occasion.

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