Vijayawada

Loan waiver: Hobson’s choice for farmers

After six months of long wait, the farmers are not sure whether they are among the chosen few by the banks and the quantum of benefit.  

The farm loan waiver in Andhra Pradesh has turned out to be a proverbial Hobson’s choice for farmers. 

After six months of long wait, the farmers are not sure whether they are among the chosen few by the banks and the quantum of benefit. Yet, having traversed too far, they are apparently forced to take the choice as there is nothing else left now, according to farmers.

The 52-year-old Bhaskara Rao (name changed) from Tenali preferred not to pay a single pie so far despite repeated reminders from lending bank just to see the burden of social and psychological mounting day by day. “My total loan is little over Rs 1.5 lakh which also includes gold and horticulture accounts. We were strictly asked by the government not to pay, but there was a consistent demand from banks for repayment. With the screening exercise, different lists and eternal postponement of waiver, we are left with no choice but to take what is offered,” the farmer said.

While the situation is more or less the same for the farmers from different parts of the State, the banks are stuck in a tricky moment on the list of beneficiaries. “The pressure is mounting from all directions. We are asked to follow several parameters to screen the final list of beneficiaries. One has to wait for the final list which is expected from the main branch in Hyderabad. There are still uncertainties on the whole exercise,” said a branch manager under conditions of anonymity.

According to sources, the total loan waiver burden has been brought down from Rs 87,000 crore to Rs 20,000 crore. The total number of eligible farmers’ accounts fell by 50 per cent after verification by banks. In the screening process that was followed, the 1.5 crore farmers’ accounts have been reduced to 15 lakh family accounts. It was given to understand that the government has arrived at the final figure through linking of Aadhaar cards, ration cards, State Residence Data Hub and revenue records.

Added to the mounting pressure, the official web page (http://apcbsportal.ap.gov.in /loanstatus/) of the government containing the expected list failed to functionon Sunday evening.

This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | Mar 8, 2021 3:54:03 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Vijayawada/loan-waiver-hobsons-choice-for-farmers/article6670412.ece

Next Story