Two sugar cooperative factories, including Vithal in Pandharpur controlled by Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) legislator Bharat Bhelke and Rajgad in Bhor led by Congress legislator Sangram Thopte, have finally been able to avail loan from the Maharashtra State Cooperative Bank (MSCB). This was possible after the state government decided to give guarantee for the loan and interest to be charged by the bank to these sugar cooperative factories.

Initially, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray had declined to provide government guarantee for both the loans and interest. However, he later relented after his ruling partner NCP aggressively pressed for the same. The government had provided guarantee for the loan to be raised by these two sugar cooperatives in December last year.

The state government, on Monday, issued two notifications, where Vithal Cooperative Sugar Factory will get a short term loan of Rs 60 crore from MSCB. The government had already provided guarantee for the loan in December last year. Today, it has offered guarantee for the interest worth Rs 8.40 crore being charged by the bank.

For Rajgad cooperative sugar factory, the government had provided guarantee for the loan worth Rs 12 crore in December last year. Now, the government has offered guarantee for the interest of Rs 1.68 crore being charged by MSCB for the loan amount.

The government guarantee for loan and interest was necessary, as these factories were not eligible due to poor net disposal resources as per the existing norms of the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD).

Meanwhile, the Minister of Cooperation Balasaheb Patil, last week, said that the government will give guarantee to the financially weak sugar cooperatives to seek pre-seasonal loans based on a set of conditions.

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Free Press Journal