Farmers from thousands of villages have been suffering due to drought and lakh of farmers have failed to get loans from banks.
Mumbai: The grim situation of the Maharashtra farmers has not changed much in the wake of the historic loan waiver scheme of the Devendra Fadnavis-led BJP government. Public Sectors Undertaking (PSU) banks have achieved the 41 per cent of the loan disbursement target by the end of September, according to figures of the State Level Bankers’ Committee (SLBC).
The situation of 14 suicide-prone districts in the Vidharbha and Marathwada is even worse as PSU banks in these regions managed to achieve only 30 per cent of the target.
Farmers from thousands of villages have been suffering due to drought and lakh of farmers have failed to get loans from banks. The chairman of Vasantrao Naik Sheti Swavalamban Mission, Kishor Tiwari, has urged Union finance minister Arun Jaitley to come to the aid of 80 lakh distressed farmers.
The crop loan disbursement was reviewed in an SLBC meeting at Pune on September 28. A special task force headed by Mr Tiwari has now approached to Mr Jaitley seeking urgent intervention and a special bailout package so that every debt-trapped farmer is brought under institutional credit cover.
Mr Tiwari has brought attention to the Planning Commission report of 2006, which was tabled in the Parliament, in which it was urged that granting fresh crop loans to all farmers is only solution to stop suicide.
The government of Maharashtra announced that the interest rate on crop loan would be reduced to 6 per cent from the existing 9 per cent, but when only 5 per cent of farmers are taking loan for farming from banks what is the use of this reduction?” Mr Tiwari asked.
He added, “In Vidarbha out of 3.2 million cotton growers, 2.8 million farmers are old defaulters of bank loans and are not eligible for institutional credit.
They are taking loans from private moneylenders and falling into the debt trap is inevitable for them. In order to stop the exploitation of Vidarbha farmers, it’s a must to provide them bank credit.”
Because of a lack of response from the Reserve Bank of India and banks, credit-starved farmer suicides are being reported daily in Maharashtra, Mr Tiwari added.