Tamil Nadu

Fishers in Tamil Nadu demand primary cooperative bank

The Indian Fishermen Association and other associations say banks do not give out loans to fishermen or ask for collateral that cannot be provided

Fishers have been demanding a primary cooperative bank for themselves -- on the lines of the primary agricultural banks used by farmers.

“Though the Central government has agreed to give us Kisan Credit Cards, no bank is agreeing to provide us with loans. They are all asking us for collateral, or details of previous loans taken and repaid. Fishers live in coastal poromoboke lands and do not have pattas: what property can we pledge,” asks Nanjil Ravi of the Akhila India Meenavar Sangam.

M.D. Dayalan of the Indian Fishermen Association said the Reserve Bank of India’s norms stipulate that banks should not ask for surety or property collateral for loans of up to ₹10 lakh. But every bank in the coastal areas in the State ask for these things. “The children of fishers don’t even get educational loans. Only managers who understand the situation and personally know the fisher agree to provide loans. And these are very few and far between,” he said.

Joyce Victoria, the association’s secretary, explained that in neighbouring Kerala, village-level banks provide loans to fishers based on the recommendation of associations that are recognised by the State government. “Members of an association can avail of loans. Say, for instance, if the member owns a boat and is in need of a loan, the association would recommend it and the bank gives the loan. The repayment happens through the sale of fish. The bank becomes the owner of the fish, it pays the salaries of labourers, the owner and even transfers payments to the ice factory and diesel pump,” she said.

A retired official of the Fisheries department said that the bank had been a long-pending demand of fishers. “There is a lot of money belonging to fishers in primary agricultural banks, if that is moved to fishermen’s cooperative banks, it would help. The Kisan credit cards meant for fishers could be routed through these banks. In Colachel, the local fishermen’s cooperative society gives jewel loans,” he pointed out.

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Printable version | Apr 10, 2020 3:16:02 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/fishers-in-tamil-nadu-demand-primary-cooperative-bank/article30910889.ece

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