The national banks performance is a cause of serious concern. Unless national banks double their efforts in the next two weeks, it would be impossible to meet the target of 95 per cent, a senior secretary requesting anonymity said. The banks have cited their own reasons for the slow pace of loan disbursement. Their argument is that unless they scrutinise each and every case, giving loan to farmers is not possible, an official said.
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An official in NABARD said, “The crop loan disbursement pattern has undergone changes over the last five years. The crop loan share of cooperative banks in showing a decline — from 45.67 per cent between 2012-13 to 36.92 per cent in 2016-17. Whereas, the crop loan share of commercial banks have increased from 48.55 per cent (2012-13) to 58.06 per cent (2016-17). The crop loan share of rural banks have remained constant at five per cent.”
Farmers from 14 drought-hit districts of Vidarbha and Marathwada regions facing severe hardship following the failure of financial institutions to provide them with new crop loans for 2018-2019, majority of whom are small and marginal farmers said sources in the government.CM Fadnavis at the state-level bankers’ meet said on Monday he had written to the Reserve Bank of India addressing Governor Urjit Patel to bring forward the conclusion of providing Rs 10,000 crop loan to debt ridden farmers. Fadnavis also asked for accelerating the entire process by directing the banks to make the procedure clear. The letter by Fadnavis also specified that in a day or two’s time every bank would get official instruction for the entire procedure.
Through this scheme, 70 lakh farmers across Marathwada, Vidarbha and parts of north and western Maharashtra can benefit through the crop loan. Almost 40 lakh of the total 1.37 crore farmers in Maharashtra are from drought-prone districts of Vidarbha and Marathwada. The government has allocated Rs 58,862 crore for crop loans for the year 2018-19. However, a source in the government said: “The total crop loan disbursed to farmers across Maharashtra has not exceeded Rs 15,000 crore.”
Kishore Tiwari,A member of the State Task Force for Agriculture Commission, said “The delay in crop loan disbursement this kharif season is going to adversely affect small and medium farmers, especially in Vidarbha and Marathwada. Unfortunately, banks are not showing the same urgency as displayed by the government.”