Interest sop for loans for cashew industry
Private cashew traders who restructure bank loans to reopen their factories will be exempted from paying interest for a year, with the government bearing the entire interest for the year, Minister for Fisheries and Cashew Industries J. Mercykutty Amma said in the Assembly on Monday.
In answer to a question by R. Ramachandran, the Minister said that of the 864 cashew factories, 482 were open and functioning. About 175 factory owners had approached the government for restructuring.
Ms. Mercykutty said Vijayalakshmi Cashew Industries, which employs over 8,000 workers, had however chosen to turn their back on the government’s efforts to keep the factories open. The government would contemplate serious action against the firm, she said.
The Minister’s statement was challenged by Leader of the Opposition Ramesh Chennithala, who said that the factories were open, but only on paper.
Almost all cashew sector workers were currently without work. He reminded the House that the same Minister had been at the forefront of the strike during the last government’s term, demanding that all unopened factories be taken over by the government.