Dec 16, 2012
Source : The Times of India
RAIPUR: Facing neglect from children and need financial independence in old age? Reverse Mortgage Scheme is the solution. But it is evoking very poor response in Chhattisgarh, thanks to lack of awareness.
In seven years since it launched the scheme, leading nationalized bank, State Bank of India (SBI) could disburse only 15 loans to the tune of Rs 72 lakh to senior citizens under Reverse Mortgage Scheme. In Raipur zone, 14 elders have availed the scheme while in Bilaspur zone only one senior citizen turned up to take the loan.
"People are not aware about the scheme, which can be very beneficial in case of medical emergencies," said Abhijit Majumder, SBI Deputy General Manager. "We keep advertising about the scheme but the response is not encouraging," he added.
"We are planning to organise a pensioner's meet on December 23, as part of the world pensioner's day celebration, to reach out to potential clients with the details of the scheme. It is the only loan product where the repayment capacity of the borrower is not taken into consideration," he added.
Punjab National Bank (PNB), was the first to launch the scheme under the title of " PNB Baghban" in 2007. But the officials at the zonal office of Chhattisgarh, could not provide the data related to response received for the scheme. Banking sources said the overall response to the scheme, even in other nationalized banks, was dismally poor across the state. The financial instrument of reverse mortgage is designed in such a way that it can be of great help to senior citizens in case they are facing neglect from their children. In such cases, they can have their financial independence without having the trouble to dispose of their home when facing financial stress.
Money raised by reverse mortgage also provides a sense of dignity and pride to the senior citizens who do not want to take help of other family members or friends in case of any emergency, whether it is medical or personal. A popular scheme in the West, the scheme was launched with similar expectations by the then finance minister P Chidambaram but it has failed to live up to the expectations so far with only 10,000 senior citizens across India availing the scheme in the last seven years.