In a first, the Maharashtra government launches a scheme to enable prisoners to obtain personal loans

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In a first, the Maharashtra government is launching a program to enable prisoners to obtain personal loans from banks to help families and meet expenses related to their legal cases

A pilot project will be launched at Yerawada Central Jail to provide loan of up to Rs 50,000 at 7% interest rate by Maharashtra State Cooperative Bank

Around 1,055 prisoners are expected to benefit from the program

Ready to provide without guarantor but only on the sole guarantee of the inmate

The loan facility will be decided based on the prisoner’s loan limit, length of sentence, possible sentence relief, age, estimated annual working days and minimum daily income

Mumbai: In what may turn out to be a first-of-its-kind initiative, the Maharashtra government has launched a scheme for prisoners to obtain personal loans from banks to help their families, pay their lawyers’ fees and cover expenses. to other legal matters. On a pilot basis, prisoners at Yerawada Central Jail, Pune, depending on their personal income, will be granted a loan of up to Rs 50,000 at an interest rate of 7% from Maharashtra State Cooperative Bank, said Interior Minister Dilip Walse-Patil.

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

”The state government has taken this important decision to provide a loan to inmates with the aim of improving their standard of living and rehabilitation. The loan will also help them meet their needs to pay lawyers’ fees and provide assistance to their families,” Walse-Patil said. He said the proposed program would be the first of such a program in the country.

“About 1,055 prisoners will benefit from this program,” the minister said.

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

The loan facility will be decided on the basis of the inmate’s loan limit, length of sentence, possible sentence relief, age, estimated annual working days and minimum daily income.

Home Ministry Deputy Secretary Aniruddha Jevalikar, who issued the government resolution, made it clear that it would be up to the banks involved to ensure that the loan given to an inmate was used to meet the needs of members of his family or to pay their lawyers’ fees or for other legal matters.

In addition, 1% of the loan repayment received from the prisoner to the banks each year will be donated to the prisoners’ “Welfare Fund”. In addition, it was clarified that the prison administration and the government will not bear any legal responsibility for the repayment of the loan. A memorandum of understanding will be signed between the prison administration/government and the bank concerned.

The government or prison service will not be responsible for paying any processing fees required for loan sanctioning by a bank. The loan limit will be decided by a bank as the state government or prison administration will have no role in this.

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Posted: Tuesday, March 29, 2022, 10:05 p.m. IST

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