In a first, Maharashtra govt launches scheme to enable prisoners to get personal loans

Sanjay JogUpdated: Tuesday, March 29, 2022, 10:08 PM IST
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Home Minister Dilip Walse-Patil | (Photo: Facebook)

In a first, Maharashtra Govt launches scheme to enable prisoners to get personal loans from the banks to help families & meet expenses towards their legal matters

A pilot to be launched at Yerawada Central Jail for providing loan up to Rs 50,000 at 7% interest rate by the Maharashtra State Cooperative Bank

About 1055 prisoners are set to benefit from the scheme

Loan to be provided without any guarantor but only on prisoner’s sole guarantee

Loan facility will be decided on the basis of the prisoner's loan limit, duration of punishment, possible relief from the punishment, age, estimated annual working days and minimum daily income

Mumbai: In what may turn out to be a first-of-its-kind move, the Maharashtra Government has launched a scheme to enable the prisoners to get personal loans from the banks to help their families, pay fees to their lawyers and meet expenses towards other legal matters. On a pilot basis, the prisoners from the Yerawada Central Jail, Pune based on their personal income will be provided a loan up to Rs 50,000 at 7% interest rate from the Maharashtra State Cooperative Bank, said Home Minister Dilip Walse-Patil.

Further, there is no need for a guarantor as the loan will be given solely on the personal guarantee.

‘’The state government has taken this important decision to provide a loan to inmates with an objective to improve their standard of living and rehabilitation. The loan will also help them to meet their needs for payment of fees to lawyers and provide assistance to their families,’’ said Walse-Patil. He claimed the proposed scheme will be the first of such a scheme in the country.

‘’About 1,055 prisoners will benefit from the scheme,’’ the minister said.

‘’Many inmates are serving long prison terms. Since the majority of these inmates are heads of their families. The lengthy imprisonment of such prisoners can leave their entire families in a state of despair, depression and guilt. It also creates a feeling in the family that the person who has gone to jail has failed in his family duties. In such a situation, providing a loan to the prisoners for the needs of their families would help to increase love and sympathy towards them from the family member,’’ said Walse-Patil.

The loan facility will be decided on the basis of the prisoner's loan limit, duration of punishment, possible relief from the punishment, age, estimated annual working days and minimum daily income.

The Home Department deputy secretary Aniruddha Jevalikar, who issued the government resolution, has made it clear that it will be the responsibility of the banks concerned to ensure that the loan provided to a prisoner is used to meet the needs of his or her family members or to pay the fees of their lawyers or for other legal matters.

Also, 1 percent of the loan repayment received from the prisoner to the banks annually will be contributed to the ‘’Welfare Fund’’ of the prisoners. Further, it was clarified that prison administration and the government will not bear any legal responsibility for the repayment of loan. A memorandum of understanding will be signed between the prison administration/government and the concerned bank.

The government or the prison administration will not be responsible for the payment of processing fee required for sanction of loan by a bank. The loan limit will be decided by a bank as the state government or the prison administration will have no role in this regard.

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