Tamil Nadu

Conditional waiver of jewel loans

The DMK government, which had earlier put on hold the implementation of the jewel loan scheme announced by the AIADMK regime, citing various irregularities, on Monday announced the waiving of loans for under five sovereigns of mortgaged gold, subject to certain criteria. Preliminary estimates suggest that the State exchequer will incur an expenditure of about ₹6,000 crore towards waiving of the loans.

“The government feels that only the eligible poor and downtrodden should benefit from the waiving of jewel loans. So in a few cases, among those who have obtained jewel loans for below five sovereigns of gold, it is felt that there is no need to waive them,” Chief Minister M.K. Stalin said in a suo motu statement in the Assembly. Detailed operational guidelines in this regard will be issued by the Cooperation Department in a day or two.

For instance, in case of those who have benefitted from the waiving of farm loans in 2021, if members of the same family have obtained jewel loans, either from one or more cooperative units in a district or from such units in multiple districts; and for those who have obtained multiple jewel loans for gold above five sovereigns or those who have misused the Antyodaya Anna Yojana cards or those who used it to obtain loans, “it will not be possible to waive such loans,” he said.

The waiving of loans for under five sovereigns of gold was among the promises made in the DMK’s Assembly election manifesto, he said.

Mr. Stalin’s announcement follows a detailed analysis of jewel loans taken across the State over the past month. Fifty-one different details, such as jewel loans obtained by members of a family, the cooperative society from where they have obtained the loan, the date of taking the loan, its quantum, their account number, details of the customer, their ration and Aadhaar card details and address, among others, were thoroughly analysed to ensure that only those eligible and deserving benefit from the scheme, Mr. Stalin said.

Malicious intent

“It was found that loans were obtained in a few districts soon after the announcement was made in the election manifesto, with a malicious intention to wrongfully benefit from the scheme. This government will initiate action against societies involved in these irregularities,” Mr. Stalin said.

Steps will also be taken to ensure that these cooperative units function in a transparent and efficient manner to benefit poor farmers and the middle class, he said. Mr. Stalin said cooperative units were monitored properly with end-to-end computerisation and core-banking facilities to provide services efficiently.

He recalled Cooperation Minister I. Periyasamy’s statement in the House that farm loans to the tune of ₹2,749.10 crore, obtained by 2,42,783 people, were “wrongfully” waived during the erstwhile AIADMK regime. Mr. Periyasamy had said that several irregularities were also found in waiving jewel loans, and the State government would make a decision on the issue after thoroughly scrutinising all jewel loans.


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Printable version | Oct 19, 2021 6:45:31 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/conditional-waiver-of-jewel-loans/article36444141.ece

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