Due to rise of banking crisis and rural indebtedness, cooperative banks are reassessing the credit limit of farmers. The limit has been revised from Rs 27,000 per acre to Rs 30,000 per acre from this season. According to the survey mostly it happens that the sanctioned amount of loan gets misused by the beneficiaries for non-farming activities, leading to an ever-increasing percentage of farmers being caught in the vortex of debt. However, cooperative banks/societies across the state had asked the farmers to submit fresh copies of “jamabandi” (ownership record) so that the limit could be lowered or hiked based on the ownership record. There have been instances where the farmers sold off their land before clearing their account.
Another way to prevent the misuse of loans is by doing away with the practice of giving cash to the farmers for purchasing fertilisers and pesticides. They can be rather issued ATM cards. Long queues are witnessed outside suvidha centres for getting copies of “jamabandi”. Since the document runs into 20-30 pages, a farmer ends up paying Rs 20 per page or Rs 400-Rs 600 for the papers.
“This is an avoidable burden and can be solved by reverting to the previous practice of asking panchayat secretaries to get the land record of loan applicants from the patwari of the village concerned,” said Bharti Kisan Union chief BS Rajewal. This information is on the Internet and is easy for the panchayat secretaries to download the relevant record and get it verified from patwaris. “This will save the farmers from a lot of harassment,” he added.
Krishi Jagran/New Delhi