Andhra Pradesh

Ryots running from pillar to post for elusive loan waiver

Desperate efforts: Farmers waiting for their turn at a special debt redemption drive by the State Farmers’ Empowerment Corporation in Ongole.

Desperate efforts: Farmers waiting for their turn at a special debt redemption drive by the State Farmers’ Empowerment Corporation in Ongole.  

Many cite wrong entries, cumbersome process for denial of benefit

As many as 4.69 lakh peasants in Prakasam district have got loan waiver benefit to the tune of ₹2,000 crore, thanks to the marathon exercises undertaken by the State government in several phases.

Still, many farmers are left out and they are running from pillar to post even three-and-a-half years after this government came to power as the benefits of the scheme have not accrued to them yet due to the cumbersome process involved.

Fortunate among them are 2,299 farmers who got loan waiver to the tune of ₹11.90 crore during the three-day special drive conducted by the State Empowerment Corporation along with the Agriculture department here in the last three days.

The drive remains inconclusive as over 2,500 farmers who were issued tokens are still waiting for their turn.

Waiting for the loan waiver, 461 farmers have died in the last three-and-a-half years.

Now it is the turn of their descendants to go round the government offices and banks to get the elusive waiver.

In some cases, while making entries, crops grown in the Himalyan region like cherry have been included instead of chillies, leaving the farmers dazed.

Corrections

About 7,000 farmers who thronged the counters at the Old Zilla Parishad hall have to wait for longer time for correction of mistakes like wrong entries of Aadhaar card, ration card, savings bank account number, land extent, scale of finance, duplicate loan numbers and absence of bank letter, says Agriculture Joint Director J. Muralikrishna. In some cases, the bankers converted other types of farm loans into crop loans. No data has been entered in the case of 1,466 farmers, Agriculture Officer (Technical) V.V. Ramesh says in a conversation with The Hindu.

In some cases, the payment has been withheld due to multiple ration cards in possession and in some cases the farmers got lesser amount waived owing to reduced scale of finance.

As many as 1,466 farmers had taken gold loan based on self- declaration for cultivation as they are excluded from the list of beneficiaries as per the data compiled by the Agriculture department grievance-wise.

Pouring out his woes, K. Srinivasulu, a farmer from V.V. Palem, laments, “Like my neighbouring farmer, I cultivated virginia tobacco with ₹40,000 scale of finance. While my neighbour got full amount, I was shocked to get only ₹4,000 per acre as waiver as the crop cultivated has been mentioned as natu tobacco.”

Verification needed

“We need at least three persons from the corporation to sit here for at least 10 more days to look into all the grievances of the farmers pertaining to loan waiver,” Mr. Muralikrishna says. “We will not rest till all the eligible farmers are covered.”

As many as 735 farmers have either lost the bonds or misplaced them, and they will be issued fresh ones.

The State Bank of India topped with 611 complaints, followed by the United Bank of India (250), Syndicate Bank (26) and ING Vysya Bank (20).

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Printable version | Mar 29, 2020 2:42:38 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/ryots-running-from-pillar-to-post-for-elusive-loan-waiver/article20123737.ece

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