Deccan Chronicle

Middlemen use banks to fleece Telangana farmers

Deccan Chronicle | DC Correspondent

Published on: September 27, 2015 | Updated on: Invalid date

Loans granted quickly to those coming via brokers

Representational image

Representational image

Hyderabad: Middlemen are fleecing farmers who appr-oach PSU banks for crop loans, where staff is encouraging the practice to sanction loans against norms.
While farmers who approach banks for loans are made to run around, those applying via brokers are getting loans in one-two days. Farmers are forced to pay up to 10 per cent of the loan amount to brokers to be able to borrow money. Most complaints have been received from Mahbubnagar, Ranga Reddy, Adilabad and Karimnagar districts.
Finance minister Etela Rajender and agriculture minister Pocharam Srinivas Reddy took these complaints to the notice of State Level Bankers Committee during a recent meeting at the Secretariat.
"A majority of the complaints pertain to banks delaying crop loans for farmers if they approach directly. If they approach through brokers, they are getting loans quickly," said Mr Srinivas Reddy.
"Farmers are made to stand in queues for hours together from the morning. Then the bank officials close the counters abruptly saying that the bank has shut for they day and the farmers are being asked to come the next day," he said.
"After working hours, they are entertaining brokers and sanctioning loans for farmers who approach through brokers," the minister said. Farmers complain that brokers are collecting up to `5,000 to secure a loan of `50,000. Bank officials and brokers were sharing the amount, the farmers alleged.
PSU banks had launched a crackdown against middlemen across India in August last year following the arrest of then Syndicate Bank CMD S.K. Jain.
Six farmers end life
Six farmers committed suicide and one suffered a stroke in Telangana on Saturday due to indebtedness and crop failure. Cotton farmer Jatoth Mohan, 35, of Kistapuram in Kesamudram mandal in Warangal district, who had run up debts of Rs 1.5 lakh over three years, committed suicide by consuming pesticide. 
Paidla Rajender, 37, of Ramakrishnapuram in Parakala mandal in Warangal district, who ended his life by consuming pesticide had suffered heavy losses for four years due to crop failure. This year, he sowed cotton on 7 acres, which got damaged. In Nizamabad district, 55-year-old Pothuganti Gangaram of Tallarampur in Morthad mandal, committed suicide by hanging. He had dug 15 borewells by borrowing from private lenders but they all failed.
In Mahbubnagar district, 46-year-old woman farmer Ramulamma of Narva mandal lost cotton crop on three acres and suffered a heart stroke. In Ranga Reddy district, Srisailam, 28, of Raghavapur, ended his life after suffering for four straight years of losses.
Balaiah, 35, of Thondapalli in Parigi mandal had borrowed Rs 2.7 lakh, but the crop on his two-acre land failed. Mallaiah, 43, of Mitta Baaspally in Tandur mandal consumed pesticide due to debts.
TS asks Centre to extend help
The Telangana government has urged the Centre to come to the rescue of farmers across the country.
Agriculture minister Pocharam Srini-vas Reddy said about 2 lakh farmers have committed suicide since 1950, and the Centre must implement the Swami-nathan Committee report in toto to save farmers.
"The Centre should step in and save the farmers from debt traps and other problems. Neither farmers nor consumers are benefited now. Only middlemen are the beneficiaries," he told a national consumers meet here on Saturday.
Mr Srinivas Reddy said though farmers toil the whole year, they don’t get remunerative prices. "The Centre should ensure insurance for crops. If the farmers are compensated for crop loss, there will be no suicides," he said.


Latest News
Most Popular