New Delhi, Aug 10 (Agency) As deadly Corona virus swept the country burning deep holes in patients’ pockets, as many as 1.33 lakh of them turned to state-run banks for Covid loans. As per data placed in Rajya Sabha, public sector banks (PSBs) sanctioned maximum Covid loans in Tamil Nadu (33,917) followed by Karnataka (20,391). In Uttar Pradesh, one of the worst-affected states, 12,569 Covid loans were sanctioned till mid-July. PSBs offer unsecured loan facility to individuals to meet COVID-19 treatment cost for them and their family members.
“All existing customers affected with Covid-19 are eligible to avail this collateral-free loan facility from PSBs in the form of a term loan, with repayment periods ranging from three to five years and an initial repayment moratorium period ranging from three to six months,” Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said in written reply to a question in Rajya Sabha. The minister noted that banks are free to take credit-related decisions within their board-approved policies and within RBI’s prudential guidelines. Besides taking a heavy toll on infected people’s health, Covid-19 caused millions of job losses and steep fall in income.