The Maharashtra government approved a bank guarantee of Rs 2,000 crore to district cooperative banks to sanction additional loans to farmers, contending they would need more money in the upcoming sowing season of kharif crops.
Chandrakant Patil, Minister for Cooperation, said Marathwada Rural Bank and 16 other cooperative banks had demanded additional Rs 2,000 crore for distribution as crop loans among farmers.
“Due to restructuring of loans since the last three years (2013-14, 2014-15 and 2015-16), and drought situation, farmers could not repay installments of loans that forced cooperative banks to seek additional monetary help from the Government,” said Patil.
In view of this, the government has approved an additional bank guarantee of Rs 2,000 crore to district cooperative banks so that farmers are able to avail crop loans, he said.
These banks are predominantly in Vidarbha, Marathwada, and North Maharashtra.
The Minister said he has asked cooperative banks not to recover pending loan amount from farmers’ crop insurance payments deposited in their bank accounts.
“We will take action against those banks that recover farmer loan from crop insurance benefits. Farmers should come forward and complain if any bank deducts their insurance amount to recover crop loan.”
Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis has reviewed the prevailing agriculture scenario with all District Collectors through video conferencing and appealed to nationalised banks to provide loans to farmers wherever required, he said.
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