KOCHI: Are you a student loan borrower in Kerala finding it difficult to access the state government’s new education loan repayment scheme? You don’t need to bother anymore since the solution is just a click away!
The National Informatics Centre (NIC) is working on a web portal which will enable the students to apply for the scheme by keying in the details. "The portal will be similar to the existing NIC platforms for providing rubber subsidy and education scholarship schemes. We have held two rounds of initial discussions with the government. We hope to make the web portal live in three-four weeks,” said T Mohana Dhas, state informatics officer (Kerala), NIC.
He said the students can apply directly for the two schemes - education loan non-NPA/standard account and education loan turned to NPA account before March 31, 2016 - by uploading details to the upcoming website.
Dhas said once the government gets the application it will forward the details to the banks, which wiill process the application. “It will be a simple web portal with user-friendly features,” he said.
A senior Finance Department officer said the web portal will help the government to keep track of the processing of the applications, besides ensuring speedy clearance.
“We held a meeting with the banks and the NIC officers on Tuesday. A follow-up meeting will be held in the coming days to fine-tune the scheme. All the banks are on board for the student loan repayment scheme,” he said. The student loan NPA(non performing assets) in the state is to the tune of Rs 1,357.57 crore from 55,107 bank accounts.
The state government has set aside Rs 900 crore for the education loan repayment scheme for families with annual income below six lakh. There are two schemes - In the first one, the government will assist the borrower to settle and close the loan by paying 60 per cent of the principal amount while the borrower pays the balance 40 per cent. The bank will waive the entire interest charged on the loan account and settle the loan account on receipt of the loan in full.
In the second scheme, which is for non-NPA education loan accounts up to nine lakh, the repayment support will be available to those who started their repayment before April 1, 2016. The annual repayment amount (principal plus interest) will be shared between the government and the borrower in 90:10 ratio in the first year; 75:25 in the second year; 50:50 in third year and 25:75 in fourth year.
Muhammed Shihab, general secretary, Indian Nurses Association, said the organisation has shortlisted the names of 280 nursing students who are struggling to repay the education loan debts.