Monday, June 20, 2011

Vidarbha Crisis-Banks fail to achieve kharif season target-TIMES OF INDIA

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Banks fail to achieve kharif season target

YAVATMAL: The indifferent attitude of officials of banks in the district has created panic among farmers as their applications for crop loans have been either ignored or kept pending without any justifiable reason. Banks have even ignored the standing instructions given by the district collector to give loans to needy farmers.

For the kharif season, the government had given banks a loan disbursal target of Rs 903 crore - Yavatmal District Central Co-Operative Bank (Rs 372 crore), Vidarbha Regional Rural Bank (Rs 65 crore), nationalized and private banks (Rs 466 crore).

The disbursement status of the crop loan as on June 15 was - YDCC Bank (Rs 304 crore), Vidarbha Regional Rural Bank (Rs.16.5 crore) and nationalized and private banks (Rs 63 crore).

The YDCC Bank has achieved 82% of its target by giving loans to 77,020 farmers. The Vidarbha Regional Rural Bank has aided 3,429 farmers, while 14,505 ryots have gained from nationalized and private banks. The number count of the overall loan beneficiaries has touched 94,954.

Yavatmal district's deputy registrar of the co-operative societies Laxmanrao Katare expressed concern over the attitude of the banks in sanctioning crop loans.

"The loan issue was discussed at the district-level coordination committee meeting chaired by district collector Shravan Hardikar. He instructed banks to expedite loan applications so that the target for the kharif season could be met and farmers could benefit as well," Katare told TOI.

At a meeting held in Mumbai, chief minister Prithviraj Chavan met representatives of various banks and urged them to achieve their loan disbursement targets so that farmers of the region could benefit in the kharif season. Chavan's request seems to have fallen on deaf ears as there seems to be no significant change in the loan disbursement scenario. Apart from the loan issue, severe shortage of seeds and fertilizers has added to farmers' woes.

Despite tall claims of the agriculture officers regarding adequate supply of seeds and fertilizers for the kharif season, ground realities are just the opposite. Some farmers have alleged that some fertilizers are being sold at double the rate.

Shockingly, people's representatives of both the ruling and opposition parties are turning a blind eye to the burning issue.

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