Chhote Logoki Badi Bate: The poor put the rich to shame by repaying their self-sufficient loans.

by Ana Lopez

On the one hand, while some people run away with loans of crores of rupees from banks, it is reported that 99.8 percent of small amount loan holders in Gujarat have repaid the amount. This amount has also set an excellent example during the Kovid pandemic by honest customers paying their loan amount in the banks even in a very weak economic situation.
At a time when many banks are suffering from the burden of non-paying customers (NPAs) by taking large amount of loans, some of the cooperative banks in Gujarat have provided loans of Rs.1 lakh, the total amount of which goes up to Rs.2550 crores. It is reported that only 0.20 percent NPA is kept. These customers belong to the small businessmen and low-salaried bureaucrats, who took loans from banks during the economic crisis.
A bank manager of one of the cooperative banks in Gujarat said that people who take loans of small amount are seen to pay more honestly than people who take loans of large amount. Less than 0.2 percent of the loan amount given to small customers is now outstanding. He also said that banks have also benefited in credit up-take due to self-reliant borrowers during the Covid period when there was a slowdown in demand from large borrowers.
Meanwhile, the total NPAs of cooperative banks in Gujarat stood at Rs 1,22.11 crore in the December-2022 quarter against total advances of Rs 28,388.15 crore, according to a recent report by the State Level Bankers Committee (SLBC). It means that the total NPA to outstanding ratio for co-operative banks is 4.3 per cent, which is significantly lower than 5.14 per cent for all other banks. In fact, nationalized banks across Gujarat recorded the highest NPA outstanding ratio at 13.15 per cent, while private banks’ figure fell to the lowest at 1.49 per cent during the quarter.
It may be mentioned that during the period of Kovid there was the most uncertainty and yet during that period cooperative banks and credit societies provided loans ranging from Rs.1 lakh to Rs.1 lakh to as many as 2.42 lakh families across Gujarat state. 2.5 lakhs of unsecured loans were disbursed. Atmanirbhar Gujarat Sahay Yojana was launched by the state government to help small traders, self-employed and short-salaried workers in tough economic conditions during the pandemic. Loans under this scheme were fully subsidized. After about three years, such small loan holders have repaid more than 99 percent of this amount.
Speaking to the chairman of another co-operative bank, he shed light on the situation at that time and said, at a time when all economic activities were closed, people from economically weaker sections were in dire need of money. But we have found that small loan borrowers repay the loan quickly and honestly. He also said that out of a total loan of Rs 110 crore given to a total of 10,958 people under Atmanirbhar Loan-Sahay Yojana, only Rs 6.95 lakh remains outstanding (NPA), and that too in six cases where the borrower has died.
Chairman of a city co-operative bank said, “Our bank has given the highest loan, i.e. 522 crore rupees to 40 thousand people, under self-help loans. Even though 60 percent of these people were taking loans for the first time, we have been fully repaid, meaning zero percent NPAs. Small loan borrowers tend to repay loans in a disciplined manner. Small shopkeepers took loans and restarted their businesses and repaid the loan amount, he said.
With so many depressing events happening around us, such news proves that morality and honesty have not completely disappeared from the world.

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