Give Goa mining firms more time to repay loans: MP

Banks should stagger the recovery of loans which had been given to customers who were dependent on the now-banned mining activities in Goa, a Congress MP said Monday.

Panaji: Banks should stagger the recovery of loans which had been given to customers who were dependent on the now-banned mining activities in Goa, a Congress MP said Monday.

"The state government should request the banks to stagger the recovery of loans given for mining trucks and machinery. The banks now have started attaching properties for non-repayment of loans," South Goa MP Francisco Sardinha told reporters at the state Congress headquarters here.

According to the Goa government, over 20,000 truckers and several thousand others who were dependant on mining for their livelihood had already been granted unemployment allowance for a year.

Earlier this year, the state government as well as trade and business associations requested the Reserve Bank of India to re-negotiate the loans given by banks to their customers employed in Goa`s mining sector and stagger instalments for easy repayments.

Mining was banned in Goa in October last year after a petition was filed by activist-lawyer Prashant Bhushan and an NGO which alleged large-scale irregularities in the sector.

A judicial commission has already exposed a Rs.35,000 crore scandal in the Goa mining industry in which politicians, bureaucrats as well as mining companies have been implicated.

IANS

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