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Wednesday, Dec 29, 2004

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Banks in Kerala to extend loan repayment periods for victims

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The committee has also decided to grant fresh loans, including consumption loans, on liberal terms and conditions.

Thiruvananthapuram , Dec. 28

BANKS in the State will extend all possible support to the people affected by the tsunami that hit Kerala's coastal districts on Sunday.

This decision was taken at a special review meeting of the State Level Bankers Committee (SLBC) held in the city today.

The meeting decided to extend the repayment periods of loans taken by affected people, says an official press release.

The Committee has also decided to grant fresh loans, including consumption loans, on liberal terms and conditions to people in the affected areas, the release adds.

Fishermen in the affected areas will be able to take loans for the purchase of fishing equipment at rates of interest as low as 7 per cent, as the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (Nabard) has introduced a special refinance rate of 4.25 per cent for this purpose, the release states. The meeting has also decided to form a working group to monitor relief measures.

Another decision taken at the meeting is to implement a Rs 2,421-crore credit-linked project to replant coconut, pepper and cashew in the drought-affected areas of the State. The meeting also decided to evolve a common procedure for financing tenant farmers and `oral lessees', the release adds.

The flow of credit to scheduled caste and scheduled tribe communities will be augmented and expedited, the release says. Banks will also take into account the credit needs of areas where RIDF projects have been implemented by Nabard.

The meeting expressed concern at the low off-take of credit in the agriculture sector in Kerala's Wayanad district.

The Committee has also decided to educate farmers in the district about the need to make use of the concessions available to them under Government policies. It has also decided to request the Government to extend the Wayanad relief package to borrowers of commercial banks too.

More Stories on : Natural Calamities | Credit Market | Kerala

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