Thursday 24 September 2020

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Economy | Mining

298 mining loans settled with OTS, over 7700 still pending

 

A large number of people dependent on mining industry in Goa who had huge bank borrowings have now opted for One Time Settlement Scheme launched by the state government fearing bad debts.

Official records indicate that 298 such loan accounts have been closed in the last few days.

The OTS supported by state government's subsidy to the tune of 35 per cent on the principle amount coupled with the interest waiver offered by the bank, have helped mining dependents to set off their debts.

The iron ore extraction activity in Goa has been on hold since last more than two years leaving truck, barge and mining machinery owners in lurch.

With no source of income, the loans were soaring, and the banks issuing them notices to pay the debt.

Last year, Goa government intervened to ease the situation and offered 35 per cent subsidy on loan amount, and also asked the banks to prepare feasible OTS to help the borrowers emerge out of the crisis.

"Two nationalised banks offered the OTS and we have settled the bank accounts of 298 borrowers till date. Their loan accounts have been closed," a senior official said.

The state government's debt relief scheme announced last September provides for 35 per cent subsidy on  loans with specific ceiling of Rs 15 lakh for truck owners, Rs 25 lakh for mining machinery operator and Rs 35 lakh for those owning the barges.

State-run Economic Development Corporation (EDC), which monitors the processing of the OTS has doled out Rs 4.56 crore to settle the accounts.

Government records indicate that there are 8,000 borrowers, who will have to be settled.

While cooperative banks in the state are still struggling with the OTS, two nationalized banks – Corporation Bank and State Bank of India (SBI), have began settling the accounts on a war-footing.

"Of the total 298 closed accounts, 268 banks accounts were with the Corporation Bank and 30 with the State Bank of India (SBI)," the official said.

Both SBI and Corporation Bank had proposed waiver of 100 per cent loan interest from September 2012, and 40 per cent waiver on principal loan amount for truck owners while 30 per cent waiver to barge owners.


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