Telangana farmers in a tight spot because of no new loan or waiver
HYDERABAD: There’s a tough situation that arises for Farmers in Telangana state as banks are adjusting Rythu Bandhu amount towards payment of interest on crop loan arrears during the ongoing Kharif season following the state government’s failure to implement the Rs 1 lakh crop loan waiver scheme, as promised in 2018.
To make matters worse, banks are not disbursing fresh crop loans for Kharif as the state-level banker’s committee (SLBC) is yet to unveil the annual credit plan for 2021 though the Kharif season has started on June 1. Owing to this, farmers are struggling to mobilize the required money to meet expenses for Kharif cultivation.
As Complaints are pouring in from farmers in all districts to the agriculture department which took the matter to the notice of agriculture minister S. Niranjan Reddy who issued orders to banks not to utilize Rythu Bandhu towards crop loan arrears. But farmers allege that banks are not complying with these instructions saying that the state government itself had asked farmers to renew their loan accounts by paying interest and the government would count.
Despite the Covid-19 induced financial crisis, the state government has credited over Rs 7,000 crore as Rythu Bandhu funds in the bank ac waive loans along with interests later. Since farmers failed to pay interest, the banks say they are forced to utilize the Rythu Bandhu amount credited in their accounts of over 60 lakh farmers to help them to meet expenses for Kharif.
However, the government could not waive loans of farmers who took loans up to Rs 25,000 so far due to fund crunch even two-and-a-half years after it made the promise. With this, farmers who took loans of over Rs 25,000, defaulted on repayment of loans. People who renewed their loan accounts by clearing arrears are unable to secure fresh loans as banks are refusing applications citing SLBC not unveiling an annual credit plan to give loans for Kharif so far.
At last, The SLBC had unveiled an annual credit plan for neighbouring Andhra Pradesh three days ago but kept it pending for Telangana without citing any reasons.