Monday, August 13, 2007

Loan facility for holders of postal savings securities

Loan facility for holders of postal savings securities

Sandeep Joshi

Loan will be in the form of overdraft facility


90 per cent loan on NSC and KVP

Postal department has tied up with HDFC Bank


NEW DELHI: In a step that will provide relief to the lower and middle class people, the Department of Posts has decided to provide loans to the holders of its savings certificates. Under the new scheme, it will mortgage the savings certificates and in turn provide the overdraft facility from private banks.

The postal department has already tied up with the private sector HDFC Bank for the scheme in West Bengal and Karnataka. Minister of State for Communications and Information Technology Shakeel Ahmed said holders of postal securities such as National Savings Certificates (NSCs) and Kisan Vikas Patras (KVPs) could get up to 90 per cent of the value of the NSCs or KVPs as loans.

“The loan will be in the form of overdraft facility where customers will be given a chequebook and an ATM or debit card to operate the account. However, interest will be charged only on the amount utilised. Though customers need not pay monthly instalments, they are required to service the interest component every month,” said the Minister.The Minister hoped that scheme would be particularly helpful to those living in small towns and villages where getting loans from banks was difficult.

A person could surrender his savings certificates at the local post office that would help him get a loan. The NSCs and the KVPs would remain in the safe custody of the post offices, he added.

The department also planned to extend the scheme soon to Punjab, Bihar, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh and Jharkhand.

The department, which provides savings bank services to crores of Indians from Metros to small villages through its strong network of over 1.5-lakh post offices, was also planning to launch a full-fledged bank under the name of “Post Bank of India.” Dr. Ahmed said that his Ministry had initiated talks with the Finance Ministry and other organisations concerned in this regard.

The financial services division of the department had over 16-crore account holders. The postal network offered a number of financial services, but passed on the entire money collected to the Finance Ministry for a fixed commission.

If the department hived off the financial services arm as a full-fledged banking unit, it would be able to keep the money collected and take investment decisions, he said.

© Copyright 2000 - 2006 The Hindu

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THE HINDU

http://www.thehindu.com/2007/08/13/stories/2007081354011300.htm

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