Work on preparation of list under way:, says CMD
VELLORE: Indian Bank will display the list of farmers eligible for waiver and relief under the Agricultural Debt Waiver and Debt Relief Scheme 2008, announced by the Union government, in all its rural and semi-urban branches, on or before June 30, according to M. S. Sundara Rajan, Chairman and Managing Director of the bank.
Talking to newspersons at the bank’s branch in Kaveripakkam on Monday, Mr. Sundara Rajan said all officials of the bank were currently visiting various branches in the count at random to monitor the work of checking the accounts and preparing the list of beneficiaries so that the list could be displayed in all rural and semi-urban branches before June 30 and start implementing the scheme after that.
He, along with Selvam Veeraraghavan, General Manager (Priority Sector), Indian Bank, visited the Kaveripakkam branch on Monday and held discussions with G. Manoharan, Circle Head, Indian Bank, Vellore and A. Rajendran, Branch Manager, Indian Bank, Kaveripakkam on the preparation of the list in the various rural and semi-urban branches in the Vellore circle. The circle comprises Vellore and Tiruvannamalai districts in general, and the Kaveripakkam branch in particular, which had the largest number of 1,300 loan accounts, involving an amount of Rs. 3 crore.
The CMD said that the short-term production loans taken by small and marginal farmers for raising crops (also known as crop loans) on or after March 31, 1997, which became overdue on December 31, 2007, and which remained outstanding as on February 29, 2008 would be completely waived. In the case of investment loans taken by farmers on or after March 31, 1997 for direct agricultural activities (which included replacement and maintenance of wasting assets, deepening of wells, sinking of new wells, installation of pumpsets, purchase of tractor, pair of bullocks, land development and term loans for traditional and non-traditional plantations and horticulture) only the instalment which fell overdue on December 31, 2007, and which remained outstanding on February 29, 2008, would be waived.
Small and marginal farmers who had taken loans on or after March 31, 1997 for dairying, poultry farming, sheep rearing, piggery, fisheries, bee-keeping, green houses and biogas, whose loan instalment became overdue on December 31, 2007 and remained unpaid until February 29, 2008, would be given waiver up to Rs.50,000 in the principal amount.
A farmer cultivating (as owner, tenant or share cropper) agricultural land up to one hectare (2.5 acres) is considered as a marginal farmer, and a farmer cultivating agricultural land of more than one hectare and up to two hectares (five acres) is considered as a small farmer.
One time settlement
Mr. Sundara Rajan said that the debt relief scheme was applicable to ‘other farmers’ (those cultivating agricultural land of more than two acres). Such farmers, who had taken loans on or after March 31, 1997 are eligible for a one time settlement (OTS), under which they would be given a rebate of 25 per cent of the eligible amount, subject to the condition that they pay the balance of 75 per cent before June 30, 2009 in three instalments.
They should pay the first instalment on or before September 30, 2008, the second instalment on or before March 31, 2009 and the third and final instalment on or before June 30, 2009.
The CMD said that farmers who are eligible for loan waiver would be issued loan waiver certificates. After the issue of such certificates, they would be eligible for fresh loans. Agricultural loans to the tune of about Rs.700 crore, taken by about 1.43 lakh farmers in the country would be waived by Indian Bank under the debt waiver and relief scheme. In Vellore circle, about 25,500 accounts in 71 branches, involving Rs.70 crore would qualify for waiver.
Mr. Sundara Rajan later visited the Ocheri branch and inspected the loan accounts in the branch. The Ocheri branch had about 990 loan accounts, he said.
He said that Mr. Selvam Veeraraghavan would be the nodal officer in the head office for preparation of the list of beneficiaries. He has also been designated as the grievance redressal officer for looking into the grievances of farmers after the preparation of the list.