As the COVID-19 pandemic has gravely wounded Kerala’s economy, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Thursday sought increased cooperation of banks to deal with the crisis.

Addressing a meeting of the State Level Bankers’ Committee (SLBC) meeting here, Vijayan urged the banks to bring issues being faced by the state’s various sectors to the notice of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).

He said this referring to the grave crisis being faced by the state’s unorganised sector due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The CM said the package announced by the RBI in May this year offers exemptions only for borrowers below 25 crore and non-NPA accounts as on March 31.

Also referring to the state government’s memorandum to the Centre seeking to put in place a moratorium on repayment of loans till December 31, 2021 in order to provide relief to people hit by COVID-19 pandemic and the natural calamities, the Chief Minister said these matters should be brought to the notice of the RBI.

He also urged the banks to give maximum publicity to the central government’s decision to increase allocation for the Emergency Credit Line Guarantee Scheme to 4.5 lakh crore as part of the Atma Nirbhar package.

Banks should try to give maximum publicity to this programme and assistance should be ensured to the business community from this package, he said at the meeting attended by bank heads and SLBC representatives.

State Finance Minister K N Balagopal, Chief Secretary V P Joy and Additional Chief Secretary Finance R K Singh were present at the meeting.

The chief minister also urged banks to provide loan assistance to revive various sectors particularly tourism and cashew industries.

He said the banks should take special care to ensure that those facing foreclosure proceedings under the Securitisation and Reconstruction of Financial Assets and Enforcement of Security Interest Act do not lose their homes.

This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text. Only the headline has been changed.

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