Loans will be given without any collateral, but prisoners will have to submit income records while working in prison.

The program will first be rolled out at Yerawada Central Jail in Pune as a pilot project (Photo: Facebook/Mannat Tour and Travels Barwani)

Prisoners in Maharashtra jails can now avail loans without producing collateral. The program, which aims to reform inmates, will first be rolled out at Yerawada Central Jail in Pune as a pilot project. The Maharashtra Cooperative Bank will provide up to Rs 50,000 in loans to prisoners at an interest rate of 7% under the scheme.

The program was approved at a meeting chaired by Interior Minister Dilip Walse Patil and an order in this regard was also issued. Loans will be given without any collateral, but prisoners will have to submit income records while working in prison.

According to Patil, the decision to provide loans to the families of inmates for their rehabilitation will be the first such loan program in the country and will benefit 1,055 prisoners.

“Because detainees are serving long prison terms, their families are experiencing financial hardship. Sometimes the detainees are their family members who earn their living. These inmates may have to spend long periods in prison, leaving their whole family in a state of despair, depression and guilt,” he said.

“A person in prison is perceived as a person who has failed in his family duties. Giving a loan to a prisoner for the needs of his family would help increase the family’s sympathy and love for the prisoner and help maintain a healthy family atmosphere,” he added.