Tamil Nadu

Pandyan Grama Bank steps in to address usury problem

Extends loans amounting to ₹5.05 cr. to 2,255 beneficiaries

RAMANATHAPURAM

In the wake death of four members of a family, including two children, at Tirunelveli Collectorate recently, which brought to the fore the vicious grip of ‘kandhu vatti’ ruining lives of poor and middle class people, Pandyan Grama Bank (PGB) has taken the initiative to address the problem by extending micro credit facilities to targeted groups.

After organising two loan melas in Thoothukudi and Tirunelveli last month, the PGB, one of the strongest regional rural banks, organised its third loan mela here on Thursday to relieve people of the burden of usury and distributed loans amounting to ₹5.05 crore to 2,255 beneficiaries.

The bank had introduced a wide range of products designed to prevent people from falling into the traps of moneylenders and protect their livelihoods, said its Chairman M. Ravichandran.

Products such as ‘Oli Vilakku’ for the differently abled and ‘Unnal Mudiyum Penne’ for hapless rural women had been designed to help them for self-employment and to be self- reliant, he said, adding the bank did not insist on collateral securities under these schemes. “We want to put an end to hapless rural women depending on local moneylenders for putting up a vegetable shop or an idli shop,” he said.

Another product, ‘PGB Thirumanam’, had been designed to help parents of poor and middle class families to marry off their wards with a loan of ₹2.5 lakh. This was aimed at preventing them from approaching usurious moneylenders and get trapped, he added.

Distributing loans to the beneficiaries, Collector S. Natarajan said the bank was doing a yeoman service by extending loans to palmyra tappers, fishermen, joint liability groups (JLG) and self-help groups (SHGs). The bank also deserved appreciation for promoting micro and small entrepreneurs, he said.

After Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched deep sea fishing facility for Rameswaram fishermen in July, the PGB, which was implementing ‘Meenava Thozhan’ scheme, came forward to provide institutional financial support of ₹16 lakh to each beneficiary, he said.

The Collector asked the bank to cover more people, who were vulnerable to usury, and enhance the total loan amount to ₹10 crore for the district.

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Printable version | May 27, 2020 1:55:26 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/pandyan-grama-bank-steps-in-to-address-usury-problem-ramanathapuram/article22319450.ece

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