In a major relief to defaulters, Rajasthan Cooperative Minister Parsadilal Meena on Thursday announced a relief scheme for the overdue cooperative agricultural and non-agricultural loans with the provision for simple interest payable at the rate mentioned in the loan documents or 12 per cent, whichever is less.

Mr. Meena said after a high-level meeting here that the scheme would be applicable to the defaulters who took loans from the Apex Cooperative Bank or central cooperative banks and could not make repayment in time for a variety of reasons, such as natural disasters, industrial slowdown or adverse circumstances.

Among others, Principal Cooperative Secretary R. K. Meena and Registrar of Cooperative Societies Mukesh Sharma attended the meeting.

Mr. Meena said the scheme was aimed at providing an opportunity to the defaulters to pay the dues and stay connected with the cooperative credit system, besides reducing the non-recovered liabilities of cooperative banks.

The Minister clarified that penal interest would not be charged on the outstanding amount of loans and interest would be calculated at the rate mentioned at the time of sanction of loans or 12 per cent, whichever is less. He said the scheme's benefit would not be available to cooperative societies or employees of cooperative banks.

The defaulters will be required to deposit 25 per cent of the outstanding amount while applying for the relief. The remainder can be paid in lump sum or in three instalments till March 31, 2011.