Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis has warned district cooperative banks and other financial institutions of stern action if they turn down eligible loan requests of farmers ahead of the kharif season.
“There are well laid out guidelines under which they will have to work and anybody found violating rules would invite action,” Fadnavis said.
At a meeting held with top officials of National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD), and the ministries of agriculture and finance, Fadnavis said, “Crop loan (disbursements) should be raised to cover larger number of farmers with an attempt to lessen their dependence on private money lenders.”
“At present there is not a single financial institution which has expressed inability not to extend the loans to the farmers. The government will also not tolerate anybody turning down crop loans on eligibility criteria.”
The NABARD Status Paper for 2015-16 has also recommended increasing the disbursement of agricultural loans.
The share of agriculture term loans in total agriculture loans has come down from 21.5 per cent during the financial year 2011-12 to 20.8 per cent during the financial year 2013-14.
The state government has issued a clear target to the financial institutions to ensure allocation of agriculture loans and credit disbursement is also enhanced to arrest the dependence of over 70 per cent of the farming community on private money lenders.
“There cannot be any justification to financial institutions turning down loans to farmers on the pretext of non-recovery or outstanding debt,” Fadnavis said. Indicating the reforms through rescheduling of loans making first year zero interest loans and extending the replaying period to five years will have to be adopted by the banks in the interest of the agriculture sector.
The ground level credit disbursement for producing and marketing of crops in 2012-13 stood at Rs 24,252.32 crore and in 2013-14 at Rs 31,426 crore.
BANK TO FARM
* The state government can take up the issues related to functioning of any financial institution with Reserve Bank of India.
* Agro-loans are disbursed through district cooperative banks.
* The RBI through its “service area approach” for making credit available in every village has identified lead bank for every district to coordinate with the state government.