Farmers jittery over loan waiver delay

Bankers yet to finalise credit plans and sanction fresh loans to beneficiary farmers

Updated - June 30, 2015 05:50 am IST

Published - June 30, 2015 12:00 am IST - HYDERABAD:

Early monsoon rains may have given a promising start to Kharif cultivation, but the delay in flow of institutional credit to the beneficiary farmers of crop loan waiver scheme has certainly dampened their spirits.

The delay in renewal of crop loan accounts of waiver scheme beneficiaries is understood to be a fallout of the delay in holding District Consultative Committee meetings of bankers to finalise the credit plans there. Renewal of crop loan accounts is mandatory for sanction of fresh short-term production loans, though the officials term it a “purely technical matter”.

An outlay of Rs.23,209 crore has been projected for crop loans during 2015-16 by the State Level Bankers’ Committee meeting held here on June 23 including Rs.15,087 crore planned to be disbursed in the ongoing kharif season. In spite of the release of Rs. 2,043 crore to banks by the State government for implementation of the second phase of crop loan waiver on June 20, many banks are yet to renew crop loan accounts citing technical reasons.

“The DCC and District Level Review Committee meetings will be held over this week to have a clear picture on the position of credit flow and the administration can build pressure on the banks to speed up disbursement only after that,” highly placed official sources said when asked about the status of crop loan disbursement for waiver scheme beneficiaries.

Farmers’ associations, however, have pointed out that the delay in disbursement of crop loans in kharif season due to delayed release of loan waiver amount saw only Rs.7,817 crore reach the farmers last year against the target of Rs.12,390 crore. Besides, the bankers were yet to issue loan waiver certificates to over 3 lakh farmers out of the total waiver beneficiaries.

Though paddy cultivation is taken up little late in the season, other crops including pulses, millets, oilseeds and commercial crops such as cotton and sugarcane are taken up early. The SLBC has fixed a target of Rs.5,930 crore lending for cultivation of crops other than paddy this season.

“It’s a well-known fact that farmers take up cultivation with funds available with them or by borrowing from others. They repay it immediately after getting crop loans. Even the release of part-amount of loan waiver won’t affect renewal as it’s purely a technical matter,” the official sources said.

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