Seeks establishment of Banking units at far-flung areas
New Delhi: The Jammu and Kashmir National Conference Member of Parliament from Anantnag Hasnain Masoodi on Thursday called on GoI Finance Minister Nirmala Sitaraman and demanded a moratorium on loan repayment for MSME and small businesses.
Masoodi brought to the notice of the Union Finance Minister the predicaments suffered by the MSME and small traders in Jammu and Kashmir and drew her attention towards the disruptions caused by the successive Clampdowns and Covid-19 induced lock downs.
Masoodi held that most of the start-ups and MSMEs have landed up in uncertainty due to the problem in the demand side. The small scale businesses, Masoodi maintained, have no money to repay the loans amidst disruption in the income. He also told the concerned minister that a six-month moratorium on terms loans announced by the RBI helped the MSMEs briefly but the reprieve, he stated, fell short in addressing their recovery concerns amid the demand slump.
“The much needed deferment in repaying of loans will provide an oxygen mask for the survival of distressed MSMEs, and other small scale traders and businesses. The repaying of loans, I implored upon the concerned minister should be postponed until the demand side improves. I told her how MSMEs and other small businesses have taken extra hit due to the interruption in the economy since 2019,” he said.
In his interaction with the concerned minister, he stated that nearly 3000 MSMEs in JK are staring at closure. The holders he said aren’t not able to pay wages to their workers as the entire supply chain network has broken creating liquidity crises. “I informed her the situation got worse after the second wave of the pandemic and is bound to get compounded in wake of the imminent third wave,” he added.
Party MP Hassnain Masoodi also brought to the notice of the concerned minister the unavailability of banking facilities in the remote areas of Jammu and Kashmir. “The role of commercial banks in rural settings is very important. The rural branches motivate people for savings, ensures availability of micro-credit for agriculturalists, capital formation, and sustain and develop cottage and small scale industries. I implored upon the concerned minister that the much needed establishment of banking services in these far-flung areas particularly Qamar, Verinag, Kapran, and Utarsoo in Shangus will go a long way in areas that will give a flip to a whole lot of economic activities. While putting across the demand, I apprised the minister how people living in these far-flung areas are not able to benefit under various welfare schemes due to the dearth of banking facilities in their areas,” he said.
Masoodi also brought to the minister’s notice the trepidation suffered by the borrowers due to the practice followed by JK Bank, which requires having government employees as guarantors at the time of granting loans. He also called her attention to how the bank coerces the guarantors in wake of the incapacity of the borrowers to pay off loans. “The practice followed by JK bank, I told the concerned minister, has made the lives of guarantors miserable. In some cases these tactics have, I told her, pushed both borrowers and guarantors to commit suicide. I impressed upon her that the practice should be disbanded and the withheld salaries of such guarantors released forthwith,” he said.