Kerala govt to launch scheme to offer loans at low interest rates

The Kerala government to launch an ambitious microfinance programme in the co-operative sector to help people, who were exploited by private financiers charging exorbitant interest rates for loans.

The initiative is to help ordinary people who are being exploited by private financiers charging exorbitant interest rates for loans, state Minister for Co-Operation and Tourism, Kadakampally Surendran said in the Assembly.

Co-operative banks would launch the proposed scheme, titled ‘Muttathe Mulla’, with the support of women neighbourhood network – ‘Kudumbashree,’ he said.

“The government is taking steps to regulate loan sharks through a joint initiative of cooperative banks and Kudumbashree,” Surendran said.

Under the initiative, loans would be provided at lower interest rates, he said. Cooperative banks would give away micro-finance loans to ‘Kudumbashree’ at an interest rate of seven per cent, which members of the neighbourhood network can avail at an interest rate of 12 per cent.

Many private money lenders were charging 37-72 per cent interest for micro-finance loans, the minister pointed out. The first phase would be launched in northern Palakkad district on June 29, he added.

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