Adivasis feel being let down with offer of Rs 1 lakh ITDA subsidy loan
DECCAN CHRONICLE | DC Correspondent
Adilabad: Adivasis of the old Adilabad district feel they are being let down by officials of the Utnoor branch of the Integrated Tribal Development Agency by extending them subsidised loans of only Rs 1 lakh though the units they proposed under the self-employment scheme would cost as high as Rs 10 lakh.
The ITDA is providing loans for adivasis to enable them to start own units under the scheme. These loans are being given to eligible persons under the aegis of the Telangana Scheduled Tribes cooperative finance corporation Ltd (TRICOR).
Adivasis say ITDA had, in its notification, mentioned loans could be availed for purchase of Xerox machines, mini-trolleys, tractors, bullock carts and cattle, as also for running small dairies. Now, the officials are asking the tribals to select a unit whose cost would be below Rs 1 lakh.
"We have already applied for loans for purchase of tractors, mini- trolleys or Xerox machines, each of which costs more than Rs 1 lakh," say the adivasis.
Earlier, ITDA used to sanction a subsidised loan for up to Rs 12 lakh to the adivasis. The beneficiaries have to pay their due share towards this unit cost and the remaining amount would be sanctioned to them via banks to meet the entire cost of the unit.
Problem now, they say, is that even a mini-trolley costs between Rs 5 lakh and 10 lakh. With Rs 1 lakh, how could we fetch the remaining amount for the purchase, they ask.
Bhavesh Mishra, project officer, ITDA, Utnoor, said they have received 16,000 applications seeking loans for self-employment and they would give loans to 5,600 adivasis this year. However, adivasi applicants say only 5 to 8 beneficiaries are being selected through lottery out of the 60-120 applicants from each gram panchayat.
The selected beneficiaries, who had applied for a dairy farm or oil engines unit and got Rs 1 lakh as loan, are happy. But, those who applied for a tractor, mini- trolley, Xerox-machine or the like are wondering what they could do with the Rs 1 lakh.
A beneficiary of Bheempur mandal said he applied for a loan for a dairy unit. With Rs 1 lakh, he could hardly purchase seven goats to set up a farm as the cost for sheep and goats has increased in recent years.
Adivasis allege that ITDA officials sanction higher sums of subsidised loans to such beneficiaries who can exert their influence politically or by other means, and their names will not be shown in the lists.