The Goa Forward has smelled a rat in the government’s One Time Settlement (OTS) scheme unveiled by the Registrar of Cooperative Societies for the credit societies, with party Vice-president Durgadas Kamat demanding that Chief Minister Pramod Sawant come clear on the scheme and its intended beneficiaries.
Suspecting that the scheme has been unveiled for the benefit of the BJP workers and MLAs who have embraced the ruling party, Durgadas said the government should come clear whether the OTS scheme is meant for the exit of borrowers hit by Covid or to pave way for the exit of the unscrupulous defaulters owing crores of rupees to the credit societies.
Addressing the media, Durgadas said the Goa Forward is not opposing the OTS scheme per se, but at the same time it is raising its reservations on guidelines giving blanket benefits to all the borrowers.
Stating that the OTS scheme is meant for the borrowers, who have availed loans from 2015 with a cut-off date of March 31, 2020, he demanded to know how borrowers who had taken loans from the credit societies can beneficiaries of the scheme when COVID had raised its head only in March 2020.
“This has raised suspicions whether the OTS is tailor-made for the BJP workers and MLAs, who had joined the party in the last one year. To clear the doubts, it is incumbent on the Chief Minister to come clear on the issue,” he demanded.
He said the genuine borrowers hit by the Covid pandemic can be considered for the OTS scheme, but hastened to add how those who had borrowed the loans five years ago and defaulted to pay can be brought under the ambit of the scheme.
The Goa Forward Vice-president pointed out that the same government has discontinued the housing loan scheme for the government servants in times of the pandemic, but has come out with an OTS scheme to give benefits to borrowers who failed to pay loans since 2015 under the guise of Covid.
“How can people who have never paid the loan installments in the last five years be considered for a scheme brought about in time of the pandemic?” he questioned.
Durgadas pointed out that these loans have been advanced by the credit societies, many of which have been facing difficulties in returning the hard-earned deposits of the common man. “We have seen in recent days how depositors have taken to the streets to demand the return of their deposits. Has the government any plan in place to take care of the depositors?” he questioned.