Bengal government asks banks to look into complaints under student loan program

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KOLKATA: The West Bengal government has asked banks to respond to student complaints over allegations lenders “harass” them when processing loans under a state-run program, an official said on Friday . They accused several banks of “canceling applications or delaying processing of loans” under the student credit card program, he said.
More than 120,000 applications have been submitted under the initiative as of Monday, and of those, 50,000 have been sent to banks for approval, the official said.
“Banks have so far accepted around 6,000 requests. Not only that, some requests have been rejected and referred to district administrations. Chief Secretary HK Dwivedi has already asked officials to form a committee in each district to deal with of the matter, “the official said. .
The students also alleged that lenders “are looking for information that is not necessary” to make advances under the program, he said.
The chief secretary had held a meeting on Wednesday with officials from the state’s education department, district administrations and banks to discuss the matter.
The higher education department has called on lenders not to harass students who apply for loans under the student credit card program. Bankers have also been urged to ensure that deserving poor students do not ‘are not deprived of it, “the official said.
The state government in September asked district magistrates to deal with students’ complaints against private banks for allegedly asking for guarantees from their parents instead of granting loans under the program.
“Banks have been ordered to take the necessary steps to prioritize poor students,” he said.
The government also asked the authorities of schools, colleges and universities to organize camps every Monday to promote the credit program and asked the education department to send a report on the number of students coming to these. establishments, the official said.
The state government had introduced the student credit card system to allow beneficiaries to continue their education without any financial constraints.
Under the program, a West Bengal student can get a maximum loan of Rs 10 lakh at 4% annual interest from banks with a repayment period of 15 years. The upper age limit for students has been maintained at 40 years.
The state government is expected to host an event on the student credit program at the Netaji Indoor Stadium here on January 8, 2022.


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