The Haryana government will bear three months interest on education loans taken by thousands of students in the state, Chief Minister M L Khattar announced here on Wednesday.
“Haryana government will pay the interest of three months of all those students who are completing their education this year or who have already completed their education in the previous year, but have not been able to start their jobs or business due to this coronavirus pandemic. As many as 36,000 students will be benefitted,” he said in a televised address to the people of the state.
The burden on the ex-chequer for this is estimated to be about Rs 40 crore. The Haryana government will also bear two percent of the total interest on loans of up to Rs 50,000 under the ‘Shishu Yojana’ of the Centre’s Mudra Loan Scheme, an official statement here quoted the chief minister as saying.
“They will not be required to give any type of collateral for this loan. Under this scheme, loan will be provided to 5 lakh people in the state,” Khattar said.
He said the state government will provide loans up to Rs 15,000 to three lakh poor people for starting their own small businesses at nominal two percent rate of interest. These loans will be provided under the Differential Rate of Interest (DRI) scheme, in which banks charge four percent interest. Of this, two percent interest will be borne by the state government, he said. He said due to the COVID-19 pandemic, economic activity has been limited for the last three months. As a result, not only the family incomes have been affected but the government’s revenue has also come down drastically, he said.
The chief minister said banks will play a prominent role in restarting businesses that have suffered due to the pandemic-induced lockdown. “But applicants often face various problems in availing loans from different banks. Since the last three months, e-governance has been widely used by the government to help the common man. Keeping this in mind, a portal is being developed on which one can apply for any kind of loan from any bank to start a new venture. The state government will ensure that all such loan applications are approved by banks without any delay,” he said. Khattar said the government was determined that in this crisis not even a single person should remain deprived of food. “Daily needs of families will not suffer due to lack of family income. With this resolve in mind, financial assistance of Rs 636 crore has been provided to 15,09,108 families in the last three months in Haryana. This amount has been directly transferred to the bank accounts of the beneficiaries,” he said.
The chief minister said keeping in mind the spirit of the ‘Antyodaya’ scheme that no one should sleep hungry, free ration is also being made available to more than 27 lakh families by the state government. Apart from this, 3,70,925 families who do not have ration cards are also being provided free ration through Distress Ration Tokens. In addition, so far 2.62 crore food packets and more than 12,22,000 dry ration packets have also been distributed to needy people, he said.
About migrant labourers, he said that more than 2 lakh labourers have so far been send to their native states from Haryana through a total of 53 trains and 4,257 buses. During the last two months, more than 600 shelter homes have also been run for stranded labourers, he said.
The chief minister said many types of relaxations have been given during the lockdown since May 18 and majority of economic activities have been allowed. However, many businesses need government assistance to resume their work, he said.