Special Correspondent

Thiruvananthapuram:Finance Minister T.M. Thomas Isaac has said the State government will provide a 5 per cent subsidy on interest for Kudumbasree loans taken from commercial and cooperative banks. Banks have agreed to advance loans to the Kudumbasree Mission at 9 per cent interest. With the 5 per cent subsidy, Kudumbasree units will get loans at an interest rate of 4 per cent.

The facility will also be made available to Kudumbasree agriculture groups, which will, in effect, get loans at a 1 per cent interest rate.

The Minister, in his budget proposals presented in the Assembly on Friday, said he had allocated Rs.10 crore for the takeover of Bhavanasree loans taken by the Kudumbasree. Steps will be taken for the introduction of grading and for the rescheduling of existing loans.

The Minister said that Rs.50.48 crore had been spent up to 2008-09 on the Kudumbasree Mission since its formation.

For the year 2009-10, he anticipated an expenditure of Rs.100 crore and had earmarked Rs.50 crore in 2010-11 to sustain the momentum. A sum of Rs.174 crore will be spent through the Kudumbasree Mission for Centrally sponsored schemes such as the Swarna Jayanti Shahari Rozgar Yojana (SJSRY), the Integrated Housing and Slum Development Programmes (IHSDP) and the Basic Services for the Urban Poor. (BSUP).

Road renovation fund

The Minister said Rs.1,480 crore will be made available to local bodies for road maintenance. The government will provide special assistance for the maintenance of remaining roads not included on the list. In addition, a grant of Rs.250 crore from the 12th Finance Commission award will be given for this, he said.

For the road renovation programme, the government has permitted local bodies to allocate 10% of the current year's Plan funds and 20% of the non-road maintenance grant. Besides, local bodies have been allowed to earmark 30 per cent of next year's Plan outlay for roads, he said.

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