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Rs 511 lakhs loans under Cong govt’s NLUP remain unrecovered

Aizawl: Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of the Mizoram Assembly took a serious view of unrecovered loans amounting to over Rs 511 lakh under the New Land Use Policy (NLUP).

NLUP was the flagship program of the then Congress government (2008-2013 and 2013-2018) under which interest-free loan of Rs. 6.46 crore was disbursed between February 2011 and March 2014 to 30 beneficiaries against mortgage of Land Settlement Certificates (LSCs) to meet the cost of inputs for the development of infrastructure of different trades.

As per the agreements between the beneficiaries and the implementing departments/NLUP Implementing Board (NIB), the loans were to be repaid fully between March 2012 and September 2017. In the case of failure, LSCs were to be surrendered to the State Government by the beneficiaries.

It was noticed that NIB did not maintain separate account as well as separate Saving Bank account for the recovered loan amount. Further, out of Rs 6.46 crore loan disbursed, only Rs 0.94 crore had been recovered leaving Rs 5.02 crore unrecovered.

In the PAC report recently tabled in the state assembly by its chairman Vanlalhlana, except for the state Horticulture department which has taken up a good action recovery of the interest-free loan, recovery rate was very low in other sectors.

Out of the total loan amounting to Rs 100 lakhs for establishment of nurseries to 8 beneficiaries (Rs 12.50 lakh each), the Horticulture department has recovered Rs 84 lakhs leaving a balance of Rs 16 lakh remaining unpaid, the PAC report said.

Under Animal Husbandry and Veterinary department, 16 beneficiaries were given the interest-free loan to 16 beneficiaries for development of piglet multiplication centres. A total loan given under the sector was Rs. 1.58 crore.

Of the Rs 1.58 crore, barely Rs 4.23 lakh was repaid leaving a balance of Rs 1.54 crore remaining unpaid, the report said. The Veterinary department’s reply to the Committee was that the loan beneficiaries could not repay the loans due to outbreak of the Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome (PRRS) during 2013, 2016 and 2018 as they suffered heavy loss.

The NLUP Implementing Board gave interest-free loan to 5 beneficiaries amounting to Rs 3.77 crore for purchase of tea leaves and turmeric from farmers, procurement and processing of broom (to 2 units and, procurement of agarbatti from beneficiaries.

Out of Rs. 3.77 crore interest-free loan availed by the 5 units, only Rs 36 lakh has so far been recovered leaving un-repaid balance of Rs. 3.42 crore. Except for Hnamchhantu Pawl and Samuel Tea Factory, Biate, which have paid Rs 35 lakh and Rs. 1 lakh respectively, three other beneficiaries have make any repayment at all.

Hnamchhantu Pawl availed Rs 2.3 crore interest-free loan, while Samuel Tea Factory in Biate village availed Rs 57.77 lakh.

The PAC, in its report recommended that the government should devise future plan of actions in order to retrieve unrecovered loan amounts. 

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Zoram Chronicle