Farm loan waiver to cost State Rs 24,0000 crore

State Government is yet to take a call on farm loan waiver, a confidential report of the State Level Banker Committee (SLBC) has put the cumulative loan outstanding on farmers at Rs 26,606 crore.

Published: 13th July 2017 09:52 AM  |   Last Updated: 13th July 2017 09:52 AM   |  A+A-

Express News Service

BHUBANESWAR:Even as the State Government is yet to take a call on farm loan waiver, a confidential report of the State Level Banker Committee (SLBC) has put the cumulative loan outstanding on farmers at Rs 26,606.98 crore as on March 31, 2017.If the State Government decides to provide a major relief to the farmers affected by falling prices of farm produce, including vegetables and recurring natural calamities, over 54.24 lakh farmers of the State will stand to benefit from the loan waiver.

Of the total outstanding which include crop loan and term loan, the unpaid dues of commercial banks and regional rural banks (RRBs) was Rs 16,876 crore while the balance Rs 9,730 crore was the outstanding  credit of cooperative banks. Nearly 20 lakh farmers have defaulted repayment of Rs 8,500 crore, the report said.

“Farm loan waiver up to Rs 50,000 per loanee farmer will put  a financial burden of Rs 24,635 crore (for all banks) on the State coffers while the amount will be Rs 14,841 crore for cooperative banks only,” sources in the Cooperation Department said. The report has given provisional fund requirement for loan waiver at different slabs. The State Government has to decide a cap on loan waiver amount and the beneficiaries (all loanees or non-defaulters only).

“If only crop loan waiver is considered, the State Government will have to shell out Rs 20,145 crore. The write-off amount will be Rs 24,635 crore if the total farm loan is taken into account,” the sources added. The financial pressure on the State will be half (at Rs 50,000 slab) if the State Government decides to write off the loan of farmers who have been repaying their loan in time. The fund requirement for the State will be Rs 14,161 crore for writing off total farm loan of non-defaulters.  “The per capita crop loan outstanding in the State was Rs  52,430 for commercial banks while it was Rs 34,570 in case of cooperative banks,” the report said.

Loan waiver amounting to Rs 2,615.23 crore was extended to over 19.79 lakh farmers of the State last time in 2008 by the then UPA government. With the  Opposition  Congress and BJP taking to the streets over the issue, the demand for crop loan waiver got louder following such relief announced by States such as Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Punjab  and   Karnataka. Besides, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik had assured a group of farmers from Bargarh and Puri to examine the proposal.

Outstanding loan G26K cr

● A report of the State Level Banker Committee put the cumulative loan outstanding on farmers at Rs 26,606.98 crore as on March 31, 2017
● If the State Government decides to provide a major relief to the farmers, more than 54.24 lakh farmers will be benefited
● The report has given provisional fund requirement for loan waiver at different slabs
● Loan waiver amounting to Rs 2,615.23 crore extended to over 19.79 lakh farmers of the State last time was in 2008 by the then UPA government

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