Ahmedabad: The Gujarat government on Thursday announced a scheme under which people in lower middle income group can avail guarantee-free loan of Rs 1 lakh from banks at 2% annual interest as it seeks to help them get back to normal life disrupted by the COVID-19 lockdown. The government will pay another 6% interest to banks giving loans under the scheme, Atmanirbhar Gujarat Sahay Yojna (AGSY), targeted at small businessmen and a cross- section of people falling under the lower middle income group. 

According to scheme norms, while the tenure of loan will be three years, payment of installments will begin only after six months of disbursal.
The central government has given a package of Rs 20 lakh crore to make India 'atmanirbhar' (self-reliant). The state government has also decided to launch Atmanirbhar Gujarat Sahay Yojna (AGSY) for small businessmen, skilled workers, autorickshaw owners, electricians and barbers, among others," chief minister Vijay Rupani said.

Other states have declared assistance of Rs 5,000 or so to such people. However, we are of the opinion that such a small amount will not bring their life back to normal, he said.

"Around 10 lakh such people will be given loan of Rs 1 lakh each from banks at just 2% annual interest to start their lives afresh,'' Rupani said.

Loans will be provided on the basis of application where no guarantee will be required, he said.

The state government will pay the remaining 6% interest on loan to banks. The tenure of such loans will be three years. Repayment of principal and interest will start after six months of sanction, he said.

The government has come up with this scheme after discussion with district, scheduled and cooperative banks, the chief minister said.

The state government will come out with detailed information on AGSY in a few days and a loan will be made available to all those who are in need of it, he said.

With PTI Inputs