The Karnataka State Cooperative Apex Bank Limited has asked all farmers, who have not repaid crop loans borrowed during the last two years, to repay loans before the end of this month to avail themselves of subsidised rate of interest of 4 and 3 per cent depending on the year the loans were borrowed.

The Government has directed cooperatives to grant crop loans at 4 per cent rate of interest in 2009-10 and 3 per cent in 2010-11. The rate of interest on crop loans has been further reduced to 1 per cent in 2011-12.

Apex Bank president R.M. Manjunath Gowda told presspersons here on Monday that about 10,000 farmers have not repaid old crop loans amounting Rs. 500 crore borrowed during 2009-11.

Cooperative banks would charge interest rates of 4 and 3 per cent if famers repay loans before end of this month. Banks would charge normal rate of interest of 11.5 per cent on old crop loans from next month onwards, he said.

The bank though district cooperative credit banks (DCC banks) and primary agricultural cooperative societies has set a target of disbursing Rs. 5,700 crore crop loans to 18 lakh farmers in 2011-12 at the rate of 1 per cent. A target for advancing short term loans by the DCC banks has been fixed at Rs. 5,400 crore and medium term loans at Rs. 300 crore in this year. Already Rs. 2738 crore has been disbursed to eight lakh farmers till August end of 2011-12, he said.

The Apex Bank, which has earned a net profit of Rs. 45.59 crore in 2010-11, has set a target of earning profit of Rs. 100 crore in 2011-12. The bank implemented e-stamping facility through its 40 branches in Bangalore.

The bank has proposed to form 20,000 self-help groups through cooperative institutions in the State and extend credit of Rs. 600 crore to 40,200 SHGs in 2011-12.

Mr. Gowda said the bank intended to open branches in all district headquarters in the State. In the first phase, it has decided to open one branch each in divisional headquarters.

It was proposed to construct a building complex comprising a training centre, guest house, farmers' community hall, and corporate hall at an estimated cost of Rs. 20 crore.

It would come up on three acres owned by the bank near Yeshwanthpur.

The bank has set a target of achieving deposits of Rs. 5273.83 crore and working capital of Rs. 8387 crore in 2011, Mr. Gowda said.

Bank Chief General Manager K N Ninge Gowda was present.