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Updated: November 12, 2010 15:29 IST

Banks stall loans for Vidarbha farmers

PTI
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File photo of labourers picking cotton at Bongavan village in Yavatmal, which has recorded farmers' suicides due to debt for over a decade. Despite government schemes, banks have gone slow in sanctioning loans to credit-starved farmers.
Frontline File photo of labourers picking cotton at Bongavan village in Yavatmal, which has recorded farmers' suicides due to debt for over a decade. Despite government schemes, banks have gone slow in sanctioning loans to credit-starved farmers.

Over 1800 beneficiaries of the ’Rajiv Gandhi Gramin Nivara Yojana’ have openly flayed the bankers’ calculated delay in processing their applications for loans which have been pending for two years in different nationalised banks of the district, official sources have said.

The Maharashtra government had introduced the scheme in the year 2008 in which the beneficiaries would get a loan of Rs 1 lakh without any interest for which they have to deposit a sum of Rs 10,000 in the respective bank. One of the criteria for the loan was that the annual income of the beneficiaries would not exceed Rs. 50,000 per annum, they said.

The target of beneficiaries for Yavatmal district was set at 3060.

However, over 8000 applications were received from the eligible candidates in Yavatmal and it was rather difficult to finalise the most eligible candidate from such a huge number of beneficiaries. The then District Guardian Minister Manoharrao Naik has instructed the administration to finalise the list of beneficiaries by lottery and 3060 beneficiaries were short listed. The DRDA then forwarded the applications to 14 nationalised banks for sanctioning the loan to them.

However the banks adopted their own procedures for screening and selecting the beneficiaries and only 202 applicants were given loans till September last. The remaining applications are still pending and the bankers have interpreted the condition of income limit to delay the sanction.

When contacted, District Collector Sanjay Deshmukh said that it was the work of the project Director of the DRDA and advised to contact him for further information.

However, the ZP President Rahul Thakre said that most of the beneficiaries have shown their annual income as Rs 20,000 or less and the bankers are sticking to the stipulation of the scheme that the loan should be released only after confirming the repayment capacity of the beneficiaries.

“As per my knowledge, no application is pending with the Zilla Parishad as we have forwarded all the applications to the respective banks well in time,” Thakre said, adding that the beneficiaries are unable to produce the revised income certificate to establish their capacity of repayment.

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