Maharashtra chief minister Uddhav Thackeray has asked the state administration to ensure proper disbursement of crop loans. He said that there “should not be any complaints” from farmers about not getting loans, according to a report.
These directives come close on the heels of a Firstpost report which stated that over 11 lakh farmers are yet to get crop loans as they are yet to receive a loan waiver. Banks need to receive the farm loan waiver amount from the government, after which they can issue fresh loans to account holders.
The 11 lakh farmers are supposed to get a waiver of Rs 8,200 crore, according to Balasaheb Patil, cooperative minister in the Maharashtra government.
The state government, in a circular on 22 May, had directed banks to extend crop loans to farmers who are eligible for the waiver but have not received it yet. The banks should mark their amount as ‘to be received from the state government’, the circular said.
“The revenue of the state has dried up due to the pandemic. And the available resources have been concentrated on dealing with it. Therefore, it would not be immediately possible to release the remaining money for the loan waiver,” the circular had said.
However, the Firstpost report points out that nationalised and co-operative banks are not answerable to the state government. It quotes a bank manager as saying that the banks require directives from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) for any such purpose.