Banking, financial relief measures announced for Kerala

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New Delhi, Aug 30 : The government on Wednesday took several measures on the banking and financial front, including concessional loan for rebuilding houses, to provide relief to the people in flood-ravaged Kerala.

Financial Services Secretary Rajeev Kumar, in a series of tweets on relief measures for Keralites, said the National Housing Bank (NHB) will provide Rs 200 crore housing loan at a concessional interest rate, and announced other support measures in banking.

“For construction and repair of houses affected by #Keralafloods, Rs 200 crore allocated from the Refinance Scheme of @NhbIndia under #AffordableHousingFund to facilitate #HousingLoan at concessional interest rate,” Kumar tweeted.

The relief measures include moratorium up to one year and instalment rescheduling for home loans as per the need. Top-up loans can be availed for house repair. There will be no penal interest and no compounding of interest during the moratorium period.

“Flood-affected brethren in Kerala have one less thing to worry about i.e. financial transactions,” Kumar said in another tweet tagging a list of relief measures.

There will be no charges for duplicate passbooks, deposit receipts, account statements, issuing fresh debit cards, cancellation and issuance of cheque books, and issuance of photo-affixed passbooks in case of loss of KYC documents, among others.

Further, no charges will be levied for non-maintenance of minimum balance or other charges for distress relief assistance received from the government through Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT). Besides, while there will be no ATM charges, the ATM withdrawal limit has been increased.

“Banking services restored through temporary bank branches. Mobile ATMs deployed, sufficient availability of lower denomination notes for urgent needs. Committed to restore lives back to normal,” he wrote in Twitter.

Other relief measures taken for facilitating banking in flood-affected Kerala include exchange of soiled, mutilated and defective notes at all branches of banks, and soggy, pulpy notes to be collected with name, address and account details, to be sent to the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).

Staff at the counters have been sensitised to provide hassle-free services, according to him.

“To stabilise the worst hit #Agriculture & #MSMEs sectors in flood-affected #Kerala – following measures including moratorium, need based fresh loans, no penal interest on current dues etc. being taken,” he tweeted.

Fresh consumption loans up to Rs 10,000 would be granted on need basis, while security and margin have been waived, and the fresh loans are repayable in 36 months.

Loans related to agriculture and allied activities have been given a moratorium for one year, including extension of repayment by one year, no penal interest on current dues and no compounding of interest.

Loans related to MSMEs have also been given one-year moratorium and granted extension of repayment period.

“Insurance sector stands shoulder to shoulder with #Kerala in its hour of need. All Pub./Pvt. Sec. Insurance Co. instructed to expedite claim settlements with exemption of survey up to a certain limit,” he added.
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