India Business
State chit funds to open to non-resident Keralites
Feb 16, 2007 - 3:28:09 PM

Thiruvananthapuram, Feb 16 - Non-resident Keralites - will soon be allowed to participate in chit funds run by the state-owned Kerala State Financial Enterprises -.

'We expect to come out with schemes for NRKs wherein they can pay the monthly instalment of the chit fund through a public sector bank - either the State Bank of Travancore or the State Bank of India,' state Finance Minister Thomas Isaac told IANS.

KSFE's chit fund is doing roaring business. Last month, they exceeded the monthly target of Rs.1.58 billion - and touched Rs.1.84 billion.

'There have been demands from large sections of NRKs to see that the government makes some arrangements so that they could also take part in the KSFE chit funds. We expect this to become a reality for NRKs soon. This would also become a vehicle to tap funds from abroad,' said Isaac.

The government had invested a mere Rs.100 million in KSFE, and since its inception in 1969, it has paid back Rs.1.84 billion to the government by way of dividends.

Over the years, KSFE has been able to maintain a lion's share of 80 percent of all the chit fund business in Kerala.

Reports indicate that the state exchequer would be flowing with funds from NRKs when the government comes out with a chit fund scheme. In all probability, the new scheme would be announced in the Kerala Budget that Isaac will present in the assembly March 9.

Kerala currently has a record two million NRKs, who contribute a whopping Rs.200 billion every year by way of annual remittances.

'In the next five years I expect the KSFE's monthly business to grow from Rs.1.5 billion to Rs.10 billion and this is easily achievable with the participation of NRKs,' asserted Isaac.

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