Fishermen have urged banks to speed up the process of issuing Kissan Credit Cards (KCC) that will enable them to withdraw loan amounts for repairing nets and boats.

The KCC was extended to fishermen and those in animal husbandry so that they too could avail of small loans for running day-to-day business. M.E. Raghupathi, a boat owner and community leader in Kasimedu, said it had been several months since application forms were collected but banks were yet to process them. “Many owners do not have any money on hand and no bank will lend them money to restart their businesses. The loans will come in handy if speeded up,” he said.

Nanjil Ravi of Akhila Indhiya Meenavar Sangam said fishermen were waiting for the KCCs so that they can buy diesel for their trips after the lockdown.“The Centre has only made an empty promise saying it will give loans via KCC. Banks need not worry about repayment since the diesel subsidy deposited by the State government can be taken by them,” he said.

Fisheries Department officials said 35,000-odd applications were collected and submitted to various banks. “But only 50 cards have been issued so far and 440 cards are under process. We have raised the issue with the banks and the Department of Financial Services, Government of India. We hope there is progress in the coming month,” an official said.

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