Cooperative banks come to the aid of members

They offer interest-free loans and moratorium of two months on repayment

Local cooperative banks are coming to the rescue of its members who are facing economic hardship following the national lockdown.

Besides offering interest-free loans and moratorium of two months on repayment, some institutions are also extending financial support to their members for purchasing essential items during the crisis period. At the same time, COVID-19 scare has forced an institution to put on hold its plan to launch a scheme for its members.

The Mulavukad Cooperative Bank had to postpone its scheme of offering a soft loan of ₹5,000 each to its members on Thursday following reports of a COVID-19 case from a nearby panchayat.

The scheme envisaged granting interest-free loans for 12 months with a moratorium of two months on repayment. Beneficiaries could repay loans in the remaining 10 months. The bank had earmarked ₹25 lakh for the purpose. The bank will launch the scheme shortly, according to its president M.A. Leo Paul.

A majority of the 10,500 members of the bank are daily wagers, and the national lockdown has rendered them jobless, said Mr. Paul.

The Vennala Service Cooperative Bank did not wait for government funds to arrive to disburse social security pension to its members.

On Thursday, the bank started distributing ₹2,400 each, the first instalment, at the doorstep of beneficiaries.

It will take a few more days for money to be credited to the bank’s account. Still, the bank decided to start disbursal of pension straightaway mobilising its own funds, said A.N. Santhosh, president.

A ₹12,000 interest-free loan will also be offered next month as part of the welfare scheme, he added.

Meanwhile, The Thammanam Service Cooperative Bank has announced a scheme for its members to purchase provision and consumer goods worth ₹5,000 from a fair-price shop run by it at Thammanam.

“This is some sort of an overdraft scheme. Members of the bank can purchase provision for up to ₹5,000 from the Neethi outlet managed by the bank,” said M. Mayadevi, secretary of the bank. The bank has around 20,000 members, she added.

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Printable version | Apr 2, 2020 3:52:45 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/cooperative-banks-come-to-the-aid-of-members/article31177274.ece

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