Staff Reporter

GUNTUR: The ruling Congress is leaving no stone unturned to make the ‘Rythu runa vimukthi mela’ to be held here on Monday afternoon a success even as the bankers across the district are giving final touches to the implementation of Agricultural Debt Waiver and Debt Relief Scheme-2008 for farmers.

Transport Minister Kanna Lakshminarayana and other ministers along with district officials met on Sunday and finalised the arrangements.

A massive rally of farmers and various cultural troupes would be taken out from B.R. Stadium to the B.R. Ambedkar Statue centre, where a public meeting would be held.

The tentative estimated amount of agricultural loans to be waived off in the district is some Rs.1000 crores and the number of farmers getting benefited by the scheme is 3.75 lakhs, out of which some three lakhs are small and marginal farmers. Of the total amount, commercial banks have a lion’s share of agricultural loan amounting to Rs.620 crores, followed by Grameena Bank Rs.130 crores and GDCCB Rs.300 crores.

Crop loans

The bankers are also gearing up for the issue of new crop loans and complete the target of disbursing Rs.1,667 crores for the year 2008-2009.

The process of identification of farmers whose direct agricultural loan overdue as on March 31, 2007, and not paid until now and those restructured loans is almost complete in most of the branches. Farmers are now eagerly expecting the final list to be displayed at the various bank branches on June 30. But before that, bank officials in various branches are gearing up for internal and external audits, a foolproof process in which the discrepancies in the preparation of final list would be removed.

Lead Bank Manager Prasad told The Hindu on Sunday that an internal audit would commence across all the 403 bank branches shortly followed by an external audit. The names of the beneficiaries and the amount waived off would be displayed on June 30, he added.