ONGOLE: The indifference of bankers and officials came to the fore at the farmers’ debt redemption grievances day programme held at the agriculture office here on Tuesday.As many as 650 farmers from 10 mandals in the district attended the programme anticipating to get the debt redemption benefit but they returned with empty hands due to the apathy of bankers and officials. As many as 650 farmers submitted their applications, seeking debt redemption. According to sources, a bank official had linked a single ration card with bank accounts of 180 farmers in a mandal.
When the issue was brought to the notice of higher officials, they said that they would discuss the matter with the Lead Bank and take action against the bank employee.When contacted, agriculture officer P Ramesh said he cannot comment on the issue at this juncture. Farmers, who came from Ongole, Tanguturu, Kothapatnam, Santhanuthalapadu, Chimakurthi, Podili, Thalluru, Giddaluru and Tarlapadu mandals submitted applications for debt redemption at the programme. The officials’ apathy forced them to run from pillar to post.
The anomalies like allocation of one’s Aadhaar number to another and one’s passbook number to another, have created hurdles for farmers to get the benefit.Speaking to the media, B Srinivasa Reddy, a farmer from Nachareddypalem village said that he had taken `2.16 lakh loan from Sydicate Bank and Andhra Pragathi Grameena Bank by pledging gold and land. Though he was eligible to claim debt redemption, the officials did not respond to his pleas. As a last resort, he came to the debt redemption grievances day programme.
Another farmer Kummitha Bali Reddy of Devarapalem said that he had taken `43,000 loan.
He said `10,000 was deposited twice under debt redemption and third instalment of redemption had not been deposited so far. “Bankers and officials did not respond to pleas when I approached them,” he said.