Commercial Banks Fail To Provide Targeted Loan To Odisha Farmers

BHUBANESWAR: Despite the Odisha government’s advisory to ensure adequate and timely crop loans to farmers, the commercial banks have failed to achieve the target.

In Odisha, 70 percent of the crop loan amount is provided by cooperative banks. Therefore, they play a vital role in the disbursement of crop loans.

Since the credit given by the cooperative banks was not adequate, the farmers are forced to depend on private moneylenders.

In a report prepared by the agriculture department, commercial banks disbursed Rs 3823 crore as crop loan against the target of Rs 8315 crore in 2014-15.

Rs 3103 crore was disbursed against a target of 5384 crores in 2013-14 while the banks distributed Rs 3175 crores in 2012-13 against the target of Rs 4566 crores.

Similarly, Rs 2270 crores were disbursed against Rs 4235 crores in 2011-12 and Rs 1877 crores disbursed against Rs 2837 crores in 2010-11. The commercial banks distributed Rs 1432 crores against Rs 1912 crore in 2009-10, said an official of Agriculture department.

In contrast, the cooperative banks disbursed loan amount exceeding the target in 2014-15. The cooperative banks disbursed loan worth Rs 8351 crore against Rs 8,000 crore.

The apprehension of non-refund of the loan by peasants is one of the key reasons for which commercial banks hesitate to disburse more loan amount, official sources said.

“As some farmers allegedly committed suicide due to a drought-like situation in the state during last Kharif season, the state government asked the banks to re-phase the loans. Further, it has asked to advance loan for Rabi crop without claiming the amount taken for Kharif. It discourages the commercial banks,” said an officer.

Around 176 farmers allegedly committed suicide due to loan burden and crop loss during the last Kharif season. The state government, however, claimed that the farmers committed suicide due to personal reasons.