Frontlist | Pandemic slows education loan disbursals in Gujarat
The Gujarat government on Thursday announced a scheme under which people in lower middle-income group can avail guarantee-free loan of ₹ 1 lakh from banks at 2 per cent annual interest as it seeks to help them get back to normal life disrupted by the COVID-19 lockdown.
The government will pay another 6 per cent interest to banks giving loan under the scheme, Atmanirbhar Gujarat Sahay Yojna (AGSY), targetted at small businessmen and a cross- section of people falling under the lower middle-income group.
According to scheme norms, while the tenure of loan will be three years, payment of installments will begin only after six months of disbursal.
“The central government has given a package of ₹ 20 lakh crore to make India ‘atmanirbhar‘ (self-reliant). The state government has also decided to launch Atmanirbhar Gujarat Sahay Yojna (AGSY) for small businessmen, skilled workers, autorickshaw owners, electricians and barbers, among others,” Chief Minister Vijay Rupani said.
Other states have declared assistance of ₹ 5,000 or so to such people. However, we are of the opinion that such a small amount will not bring their life back to normal, he said.
“Around 10 lakh such people will be given loan of ₹ 1 lakh each from banks at just 2 per cent annual interest to start their lives afresh,” Mr Rupani said.
Loans will be provided on the basis of application; no guarantee will be required, he said.
The state government will pay the remaining 6 per cent interest on loan to banks. The tenure of such loans will be three years. Re-payment of principal and interest will start after six months of sanction, he said.