ANDHRA PRADESH

Farmers warned against approaching moneylenders

DEVARUPPAL (WARANGAL DT.), JULY 24. The Major Irrigation Minister, Ponnala Lakshmaiah, has exhorted farmers to make use of the services being rendered by rural banks instead of approaching moneylenders.

The Minister, giving away loans to farmers, urged them to repose confidence in the Government, which had initiated a series of measures to protect their interests. The Government had been according top priority to the agriculture and irrigation sectors, which would benefit farmers.

The Kakatiya Grameena Bank (KGB) identified as many as 591 farmers in 11 villages and disbursed crop loans worth Rs. 33 lakhs to them at a function held at Peddamadur village here today.

The Minister listed out the initiatives taken by the Government, which included waiver of power dues, free power and huge allocations to the irrigation sector for completion of all the pending projects.

The Minister advised farmers to repay the loans promptly and help the bank provide similar services to more farmers in the district. "If you repay the loan, others will get loan. You have to create confidence in bank officials,'' he pointed out.

The KGB Chairman, V. Jaganmohan Rao, said the bank, following the Government's directive, had rescheduled the loans to a five-year period and had been according fresh loans, particularly to those who never got a loan from any bank.

The district collector, N. Siva Sankar, wanted farmers to restrain from obtaining loans from moneylenders at exorbitant rates of interests and thus burdening themselves with huge debt.

"The rural banks are meant for serving the farmers. Now more and more banks are coming forward to save the farmers in distress due to crop failures and drought situation,'' he said.

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