Banks refuse fresh loans to farmers in Telangana

RBI has insisted that there is no valid ground for rescheduling of crop loans

Hyderabad: The first Annual Credit Plan for Telangana State for 2014-15, released by the State-Level Bankers’ Committee on Friday, saw a massive jump over last year.

Banks have set a target to disburse Rs 63,047 crore loans this year as against Rs 55,113 crore disbursed in the Telangana region in the undivided state last year, an increase of 14.40 per cent.

The plan was unveiled by chief secretary Dr Rajiv Sharma, at the second SLBC meeting.

Of the total outlay, the lion’s share of Rs 27,233 crore has been allotted to agriculture and allied sectors, including Rs 18,717 crore towards crop loans. This in spite of the Telangana government and banks being locked in a tussle over the crop loan waiver scheme.

Though the Reserve Bank of India has insisted that there is no valid ground for rescheduling of crop loans, Dr Sharma said that the farmers had suffered a lot in the last few years on account of natural calamities because of which the waiver was promised.

Meanwhile, the bankers said that all farmers, irrespective of the kind of loan they had taken, have stopped repayment completely with an eye on the loan waiver scheme. The bankers said they are not in a position to offer fresh loans to farmers due to the existing arrears. Also, there is no clarity on when the ‘reschedulement of loans’ orders will be approved by the RBI.

The bankers said the delay in the scheme has been costing the farmers dear as they are burdened with 40 per cent interest, since they are losing out on “interest-free loans” up to Rs 1 lakh, “25 paisa interest” loans for up to Rs 3 lakh due to non-payment of existing loans.

( Source : dc correspondent )
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