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After RBI, Nabard too against loan waivers

Nabard spoke against “omnibus waivers” and described farm loan waivers as a “moral hazard”.

By: ENS Economic Bureau | Mumbai |
Updated: April 12, 2017 3:13:53 am
 RBI, Reserve Bank of India, Nabard, loan waiver, NABARD, debt waiver, Uttar Pradesh, farmer loan waiver, farmer distress, indian economy, indian express Representational Image

After Reserve Bank of India, the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (Nabard) spoke against “omnibus waivers” and described farm loan waivers as a “moral hazard”.

“Debt waivers create a moral hazard from a credit repayment perspective and we cannot have omnibus waivers,” Nabard chairman Harsh Kumar Bhanwala said here a week after UP government announced a Rs 36,000-crore farm loan waiver package. Similar demands have already been raised in many other states including Maharashtra.

Bhanwala said every time a debt waiver is announced, it is taxpayers’ money which is used to help bail out the farmers. The comments come days after RBI Governor Urjit Patel last week came out against loan waivers saying that they “undermine honest credit culture” and also “impact the balance sheet of the government”.

Nabard has reported a 4.24 per cent rise in its net profit for 2016-17 at Rs 2,631 crore, and a 16.27 per cent rise in its outstanding loans at Rs 3.08 lakh crore.

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Bhanwala said Nabard, which refinances banks’ agri loans, feels that the financial sector is set to surpass the Rs 9 lakh crore agri loan target for FY17 set by government and will repeat the performance in FY18 by exceeding the Rs 10 lakh crore target.

Nabard is laying extra focus on long-term irrigation fund and expects to deploy up to Rs 25,000 crore for this purpose through identified projects (up from Rs 9,000 crore in FY17) and also to mitigate climate change impact, Bhanwala said, adding the company will also be focusing on micro-irrigation sector this year, and plans to deploy up to Rs 2,000 crore on it.

He said the share of long-term loans has risen to 24 per cent of its total loanbook now from 19 per cent two years ago. Its outstanding borrowing increased to Rs 80,000 crore from Rs 60,000 crore in the year-ago period and Bhanwala said there would be a rise of Rs 15,000 crore in the outstanding borrowing in FY18.

On demonetisation, Bhanwala said there was a jump in repayments in the initial days but credit demanded was impacted later. He, however, added despite this, the Rs 9 lakh crore target has been met.

With inputs from PTI

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First published on: 12-04-2017 at 03:13:04 am

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