KOCHI: With the protest by the CITU-affiliated union continuing to disrupt the functioning of Muthoot Finance branches in the state, other non-banking finance companies (NBFCs) and gold loan companies on Thursday urged the trade unions to not spoil the investment climate in the state when its economy was facing challenging times due to the severe flood in the last two years.
Kurien C George, vice-chairman of the Association of Gold Loan Companies India (AGLCI), and Thomas George Muthoot, chairman of the Association of Non-Banking Finance Companies Kerala (ANBFCK), told reporters here that the industry was “deeply concerned” over the developments in Muthoot Finance, which have severely hit the business of the company. “When 99 per cent of the employees are ready to work, they are being obstructed by unruly elements from outside,” said Kurien George.
He said Muthoot Finance will have all backing of other companies in the industry in Kerala. Thomas George Muthoot pointed out that the industry provides direct employment to over 40,000 in Kerala and another 1,60,000 indirectly. “The gold loan companies and NBFCs were started as small enterprises with five-six people some 40 years back. We provide last-mile reach with our branches in the remotest parts, where banks are reluctant to start their branches,” he said.
The AGLCI said their income-generating loans have benefited over 18 lakh families, helping them supplement their incomes and upgrading their business skills. On allegations regarding lack of proper salary scale and wage hikes, Kurien said all its member companies were being strictly regulated by various regulatory bodies with regular audits of their business practices.