'Waive off interests of small borrowers for six months'

Waive off interests of small borrowers for six months: Kerala MP

Mani said the Centre should compensate the banks for the loans taken by common man who is in "dire straits". (Credit: Wikimedia Commons Photo)

COVID-19 spread is set to further hit the economy, Kerala MP Jose K Mani on Tuesday urged the government to waive off interest on personal and agricultural loans of small borrowers.

Raising the issue during Zero Hour in Rajya Sabha, Mani said the global economy is facing recession with the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) reducing its global GDP growth rate by 0.5% to 2.4%.

"There is an economic slowdown in India too. Add to this, the effect of COVID-19, the coronavirus. There is total slowdown in the market and the industry, especially for the small and marginal farmers and the middle and lower income groups. These people have borrowed personal loans and agricultural loans," he said.

He said the financial year is coming to an end on March 31 and during this period, there would be a strong drive from the banks to collect dues and remove Non Performing Assets (NPA).

“But the poor and common man do not have any money to pay back. All their houses and properties are going to be attached because of bad debts. My request to the government is interest may be waived off for six months from January to June 2020 for those who had taken a loan of maximum amount of Rs ten lakh," he said.

Mani said the Centre should compensate the banks for the loans taken by common man who is in "dire straits".

Congress MP Viplove Thakur said the tourism and hotel industry in Himachal Pradesh has been adversely hit by the outbreak of coronavirus and demanded a special package for states dependent on tourism. "Cancellation of bookings has led to a situation where hoteliers are on the verge of defaulting on loan repayments," she said.

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