HYDERABAD: The Andhra Pradesh government has decided to extend the crop loan waiver scheme to another 42 lakh farmers, who were earlier denied the benefit as their claims didn’t match official records. The move comes following several surveys conducted by the government which revealed that a majority of the farmers are dissatisfied with the limited reach of the waiver scheme.
According to Agriculture Minister P Pulla Rao, an exclusive cell and a call centre will be set up to receive fresh pleas from farmers from Monday onwards. After receiving their pleas, the government will once again process applications of all eligible farmers to verify their claims. Under the scheme, crop loans up to Rs 1.5 lakh per family will be written off. The farmers will have to submit their land and bank account details besides Aadhaar/ration cards to get their applications verified. Interestingly, the State government’s decision comes just days after bankers had severely criticised the loan waiver scheme.
None other than State Level Bankers’ Committee (SLBC) president and chairman of Andhra Bank CVR Rajendran had narrated how the scheme was making it difficult for the banks to recover outstanding dues from farmers. However, the State government appears more worried about the perception among the farmers than the bankers.
The Agriculture Minister said the government had released Rs 2,300 crore to bankers in the second phase of the loan waiver scheme.
Ground reports forced govt hand
The State government had conducted several surveys to know the pulse of the people and to its dismay, found that a majority of the farmers are dissatisfied with the limited reach of the loan waiver scheme. Hence, the move to extend the scheme.