Before June 30 and get benefit of 25 per cent of debt relief

The State Bank of India here urged the big farmers (other than small and marginal farmers) to repay their over dues before June 30 and get benefit of 25 per cent of debt relief under the `Agricultural Debt Waiver and Relief Scheme 2008.'

Addressing a press conference, A. Varadharajan, T. Joseph Chandran and P. Karthikeyan, Regional Managers of SBI Region-I, II and IV and Kausalya Venkatraman, Assistant General Manager (Rural Business Unit) said here on Monday that about Rs.156.15 crore was yet to be recovered from 20,779 big farmers in the districts of Tiruchi, Karur, Tiruvarur, Nagapattinam, Pudukottai, Thanjavur, Ariyalur and Perambalur districts in Tamil Nadu and also in the Karaikal region in the Union Territory of Puducherry.

They pointed out that out of the 29,114 eligible farmers with outstanding loan of Rs.209.24 crore, full recovery was made from 8,335 farmers in these districts. Out of the Rs.156.15 crore over dues, Rs.58.50 crore has to be recovered from 7,059 farmers out of 13,782 farmers in Region-IV of SBI comprising Thanjavur, Ariyalur and Perambalur districts, Rs.52.58 crore to be recovered from 8,942 farmers out of 9,380 farmers in Region-II comprising of Tiruvarur, Nagapattinam, Pudukottai and Karaikal districts and Rs.45.07 crore to be recovered from 4,778 farmers out of 5,952 farmers in Region-I comprising Tiruchi and Karur districts.

Mr. Varadharajan, Regional Manager (IV) said that as per the debt waiver and relief scheme of the Centre, farmers other than small and marginal farmers were eligible for 25 per cent debt relief for the overdue portion of their loan as on December 31, 2007 and if remain unpaid up to 29.02.2008. He pointed out that as per the scheme, farmers who were already in the branch beneficiary list had to pay the entire 75 per cent of their overdue amount within the deadline of June 30 this year and the banks would pass on the 25 per cent relief. He said that for the farmers who were closing their loan account using this 25 per cent relief from the Government before June 30, the SBI branches would give them rebate on overdue interest portion.

The regional managers said that special team of officials had been formed to approach the farmers and recover the loan dues by explaining the 25 per cent relief to be given to them if they paid the over dues before June 30.