Only 17,300 farmers have got loan against the 70,000 identified as eligible
The Loan Eligibility Cards to Tenant Farmers (Koulu Rythula Rakshana Hastam) scheme that was launched by Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy on July 10 in Rajahmundry almost is seen to be a flop show in the district with only 17,300 farmers getting loan as against the 67,000 identified as eligible. “I admit that it is going at a snail's pace as there are so many procedures involved with bankers, farmers and disbursement,” said District Collector M. Ravichandra.
Tenant farmers in the State are up in arms against the government as banks are not extending them crop loans despite possessing loan eligibility cards. Bankers, they say, are imposing new terms and conditions to avoid issuance of loans on the basis of loan eligibility cards. The farmers alleged that they were forced to depend on private moneylenders for loans to take up cultivation.
On the other hand, the bankers contend that granting loans to tenant farmers based on loan eligibility card issued by the revenue department and without any surety was fraught with risks. "It is difficult for us to recover the loan amounts from tenant farmers. Non-performing assets will be projected online every three months. We have to answer our higher-ups on the recovery,” said the Assistant General Manager of a nationalised bank.
Out of 1,800 eligible farmers in Katrenikona mandal in Konaseema where crop holiday was declared only 318 farmers had been given sanction letters and a few of them had got the loan. In Kothapeta out of 2200 farmers only 400 got loan, in Rajahmundry division the percentage is almost the same.
The Collector said that the problem was arising in most of the cases because of loans already availed by land owners. Bankers would say that a fresh loan would be issued to tenant farmer if the landlord had already secured a loan, said Mutyala Jameelu of Konaseema Rythu Parirakshna Samithi.