Disburse crop loans under waiver scheme immediately: HC to bank

13/09/2011 MUMBAI: The Bombay High Court may soon be renamed as Mumbai High Court if the centre gives a go-ahead to a recommendation made by the Maharashtra government. Once the central legislative committee clears the recommendation, a bill will be introduced in parliament to make the name-change amendment to the Bombay high court (Letters Patent) Act, 1866. The state government will then issue a notification. Photo: Paul Noronha  

In a welcome relief to farmers, the Aurangabad Bench of the Bombay High Court directed the Aurangabad District Central Cooperative Bank to disburse crop loans to eligible agriculturists under the loan waiver scheme immediately, without insisting on the payment of interest on the loan amount till the actual benefit is given to the agriculturists.

A Division Bench of S.V. Gangapurwala and R.G. Avachat was hearing a public interest litigation filed by RTI activist Kishore Ashokrao Tangade. Advocate Satish Talekar, appearing for Mr. Tangade, contended that despite the government order of January 17, 2020, directing the bank to not charge interest from October 1, 2019, till the actual benefit is given to those who are entitled to it under the Mahatma Jyotirao Phule Shetkari Debt Waiver Scheme, 2019, the bank has not disbursed the loan amount to the eligible agriculturists on the ground that interest from October 1, 2019, has not been paid.

Mr. Talekar said, “Fortunately, this year, the agriculturists benefited by the timely rains. Sowing season has commenced from the month of June. However, because of non-disbursement of the loan by the bank, many agriculturists are not in a position to sow the seeds.”

He said loans have been disbursed only to 49.62% of the agriculturists and that too to those who have paid the interest amount calculated from October 1, 2019. Such agriculturists have paid the interest amount by selling their gold ornaments and other articles. The government scheme, under order dated January 17, 2020, is not implemented by the bank in its true letter and spirit, Mr. Talekar said.

The lawyer representing the bank said considering the financial position of the bank, a conscious decision has been taken by the board, to not grant waiver of interest from October 1, 2019. He said the bank would lose the interest amount, if the loan is disbursed without recovering the amount of interest from October 1, 2019, and it will affect the financial condition of the bank.

However, the court said the bank was bound by the directions of the State and directed the bank to disburse the amount to eligible farmers without insisting on the payment of interest.

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Printable version | Apr 20, 2021 12:38:45 PM |

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