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Goa Government Starts Process to Offset Rs 1,000 Crore Loans

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Panaji: 

The Goa government on Saturday began an exercise to offset loans of the people dependent on mining activity, whose borrowings worth Rs 1,000 crore were feared to get into a bad debt.

Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar on Saturday held a meeting with financial institutions, including cooperative banks, nationalised banks and urban credit banks, to take an overview of the loan amount pending with them.

Iron ore extraction has stopped in the state since September 2012.

"The total borrowing, including interest, is of Rs 1,000 crore. The financial institutions have been asked to revert to the government after reworking on the figures," Mr Parrikar told reporters after the meeting.

"They (banks) have been asked to inform about the exact amount, they are ready to waive off."

Bhartiya Janata Party MLAs - Nilesh Cabral, Subhash Faldesai and Pramod Sawant - representing the constituencies in the mining belt also attended the meeting.

The Chief Minister said that the government can step in to help people, by paying off some of the loan amount, if banks provide one-time settlement (OTS) for them.

"For those who can't pay the money under OTS, their liabilities can be shifted to another institution, which will offer them the soft loan to pay off the main amount to the bank," he said.

Institutions will be given guarantee of repayment by the state government, he said, adding that the government is in the process of finalising a proper scheme to set off the serious loan issue, which will be settled by September this year.

He said a financial scheme could be only chalked out when the government knows the exact amount of loan liabilities with various banks.

According to sources, Rs 450 crore is exposure of nationalised banks, followed by Rs 350 crore of cooperative banks and Rs 300 crore of financial institutions.

He also hinted that the state government would make a financial provision to assist the people during the upcoming state legislative assembly's budget session.

"Mining policy is being framed, mandatory for restarting of this economic activity. The policy will be ready by third week of July," he said, adding that the mines department is in the process of framing it.



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