Maharashtra: Despite CM Fadnavis’ order, banks deny crop loans to farmers

Mumbai: Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, though had instructed Public Sector Undertaking (PSU) banks to disburse crop loans to the farmers without hesitations, the banks have denied loans to more than 60 per cent of farmers.  These PSUs have achieved average only 30 per cent target out of the total target given to disburse Rs 28,000 crore in the suicide-prone 14 districts of the Vidarbha and Marathwada region. On the contrary State Bank of India (SBI) has closed its branch at Patanbori in Yevatmal district, without giving any reason when farmers rushed for the crop loan. Meanwhile, debt-ridden three farmers committed suicide in Marathwada region on Friday.

In a meeting of State Level Bankers Committee (SLBC), the chief minister had set a target to disburse Rs 63,000 crore crop loan to the farmers across the state. However, in a recent meeting of SLBC held at Pune on Friday revealed the PSU banks have achieved only 41 per cent target across the state. Whereas in Marathwada and Vidarbha region, out of total Rs 28,000 crore, the banks have disbursed only Rs 11,000 crore.

Kishor Tiwari, chairman of state appointed Vasantrao Naik Sheti Swavlamban Mission (VNSSM) said, “Hostile attitude and non-cooperation of PSU banks forced farmers from these two regions to take loan from private money lenders. This has resulted in on-going incidents of suicide by farmers.” He added, State Bank of India (SBI), Bank of Maharashtra and Vidarbha-Konkan Gramin Bank harassed farmers and did not disburse crop loan to the farmers. There are 3.2 million cotton growers which are major crops of Vidarbha region.

Meanwhile, three farmers from Marathawada committed suicide. Parmeshwar Sahebrao Dongre (35) from Vadvani and Pandurang Sidram Gitte (60) consumed poison in his farm at Nandagaul in Parli Tehsil (both from Beed district) consumed poison on Friday in separate incidents. Both were debt ridden from banks and  private lenders and died in hospital.

Govind Tukaram Kaldate (45) from Awad Shirpura in Kalab tehsil of Osmanabad district hanged himself with saree at a tree in front of his house. According to the police report, he committed suicide due to no crop production and heavy expenses on education of his children. Dhananjay Munde, leader of the opposition accused Fadnavis and held responsible for the farmers suicide. He said, “suicide of farmers have proved the failure of Jalyukta Shivar Yojna (JSY) and the loan waiver scheme are responsible for the death of farmers.

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