Telangana

Farmers in a fog over loan waiver

Farmers are worried across the State as only ₹6,000 crore has been allotted for loan waiver in the budget this year.

Farmers are worried across the State as only ₹6,000 crore has been allotted for loan waiver in the budget this year.  

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Confused whether to clear bank dues or wait for announcement

In the absence of steps by the government to keep its election promise of crop loan waiver of up to ₹1 lakh, farmers are clueless whether to take fresh loans after clearing their dues to banks or wait till an announcement, though the first crop season this year is almost over and the second set to begin.

A senior agriculture officer said there was no forward movement by the government in the matter, but it has assured farmers that the promise would be fulfilled. The farmers were asked to clear the dues to take fresh loans and the government would reimburse the money later. In the previous term of the TRS government, the crop loans of farmers were waived up to ₹1 lakh in four instalments spread over nearly four years. Therefore, the farmers apprehended that the same could happen this time too. Their apprehensions were fuelled by the allotment of only ₹6,000 crore for loan waiver in the budget this year. This was not even a fifth of the total amount estimated for waiver by bankers, which was ₹31,823.24 crore. The amount was to go to 48.13 lakh farmers.

About 18.77 lakh farmers would benefit if the government waived loan up to ₹50,000 in one go, but the budget allocation would not be sufficient even for that.

The banks had estimated the amount required for waiver with the cut off date of December 11 last year when the TRS returned to power for the second term. A total of 42.36 lakh farmers had borrowed loans of ₹32,261 crore and another 5.55 lakh farmers took ₹5,252 crore by mortgaging gold till that date. The borrowings thus totalled ₹37,519 crore, of which ₹1 lakh and above credit accounted for ₹5,705 crore, which the government would not pay. So, the burden on the government came to ₹31,823 crore.

The farmers have been eagerly waiting for the government to come up with guidelines, but a senior officer said nothing of the sort was on the anvil. He added that the loan waiver would be implemented at any cost, but it was only a matter of time.

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Printable version | Dec 12, 2019 10:06:31 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/telangana/farmers-in-a-fog-over-loan-waiver/article30109948.ece

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