CHENNAI: Around 250 farmers from across the state belonging to the All Farmers Organisation Committee of Tamil Nadu staged a protest and signed a petition on Tuesday urging the Governor of the Reserve Bank of India and the Union Minister of Finance to warn banks not to engage private party agencies to recover loans.
The protesters alleged that most nationalised banks and other financial institutions threaten and force farmers to repay the loans by taking extreme coercive steps like seizure of equipment and physically assaulting the farmers.
They cited the recent incident of a farmer, (Balan from Thanjavur district) who was manhandled by collection agents of a private bank for defaulting on loan repayment.
“This is the situation of many farmers in the state,” the protesters said.
Referring to another farmer, Alagar, who ended his life because of mounting debt, they demanded a compensation of `10 lakh be given to his family members.
According to a senior member of the organisation, the outstanding loans of farmers across the state is `9,000 crore including the delta region.
“Nationalised banks come forward to help businessmen like Vijay Mallya, but farmers who are the backbone of the country are neglected and badly treated.” Advocate S Rajinikanth, president, Tamil Nadu Progressive Lawyers Association said.
P R Pandian, president of the organistaion said that RBI should direct all the financial institutions not to take coercive steps for recovery of loans, till a police decision on the loans are drawn by the state government which will be formed after the Election in May.