They say they are made to borrow at high interest rates
Farmers under the leadership of Shetakari Sanghatana chief Raghunathdada Patil have demanded that all district central cooperative banks in Maharashtra be dissolved now that the Maharashtra State Cooperative Bank Ltd.(MSCB), which is the apex bank, has been dissolved.
Mr. Patil told presspersons at Islampur in Sangli district on Tuesday that the very cooperative structure in the State and district level had been a creation of the Congress.
Farmers had been suffering at the hands of intermediaries and had to borrow credit at high interest rates, hence they should be dissolved and credit given to them directly.
Referring to the sanction of huge loans to cooperative sugar factories and other industries by MSCB,
Mr. Patil said loans worth crores of rupees remained unpaid because of the State government's guarantee.
Mr. Patil said it was because of the guarantee and the government's special package that most sugar barons and other chiefs of cooperative industries had not paid their dues.
He said the public money should not be utilised for wilful defaulters. He alleged that the Congress and the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) were misusing power and money.
There were dues estimated at Rs. 188 crore of Pravara Co-operative Sugar Factory owned by the Congress leader Balasaheb Vikhe Patil and Rs. 90 crore of Sanjeevani Co-operative Sugar Factory owned by the NCP leader Shankarao Kolhe, Mr. Patil said.