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  • Kollam: Cashew inc banks on revival package

    Feb 8th, 2019

    The package to revive the crisis-hit cashew industry will be implemented soon. The cashew processors hope that the decisions taken by the government at the meeting of State-Level Bankers' Committee, bankers and cashew processors will give a boost to the industry. The bankers have agreed to the terms put forward by an expert committee. The interest on loan default will be borne by the government avoiding penalties. The interest rates will be unified at nine per cent for new mortgages. One-time settlement, rescheduling of tenor and refinancing are among the steps initiated to resolve the issues faced by entrepreneurs over the factories declared as NPAs by the banks.

    "The cashew processors welcome the decision taken by the government to implement the package. However, this should be done as early as possible," said Mr K. Rajesh, Kerala cashew industry joint protest council.As per the package, the interest for new loans will be subsidised by the government for the first year of repayment. The money will be funded from Rs. 25 crore allotted in the state budget.Meanwhile, the additional cess to be imposed by the government to compensate the flood losses is likely to affect the cashew industry. Currently, some 700 cashew factories in the private sector remain shut due to financial crunch while 173 of them have been declared as NPAs facing recovery procedures.

    Some 3.5 lakh cashew employees are either completely jobless or just part-time workers after the crisis gripped the industry. They are also deprived of social security benefits, including provident fund and employees' state insurance as they lack mandatory working days. The state government will take up the issue with the centre demanding relaxation in the term of payment.