Debt waiver: Commercial banks told to upload details of farmers

CHANDIGARH: The state government has asked commercial and regional rural banks to upload details of loanee small and marginal farmers on the government portal (fdws.

editorial@tribune.com

Vijay C Roy

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 15

The state government has asked commercial and regional rural banks to upload details of loanee small and marginal farmers on the government portal (fdws.punjab.gov.in) so that the debt waiver scheme can be extended to them.

The government intends to cover the loanees of public sector and regional rural banks in the third phase. The first two phases are for the loanees of state cooperative banks. The scheme was launched in January. In the first phase, the government aims to cover 1.6 lakh farmers and disburse relief totalling Rs 748 crore. Verification of beneficiaries of state-owned cooperative banks for the second phase is in progress.

At the State Level Bankers’ Committee meeting today, a senior government officer said, “The loan data of commercial and regional rural banks is required to calculate the relief for farmers under the scheme.” The login ID and password for uploading the data of eligible farmers on the portal will be provided to the banks concerned.

The data will be verified by the revenue authorities. Subsequently, the Agriculture Department will calculate the debt waiver.

Meanwhile, bankers stated that after the announcement of debt waiver for small and marginal farmers, the latter had stopped making repayment of crop loans. The NPAs (non-performing assets) under the agricultural sector have increased by Rs 277 crore during the third quarter of the current fiscal. Farmers in other categories are also not making repayments in the hope of debt waiver, the bankers said.

Bankers stated that the repayment made by eligible farmers would not affect their eligibility for debt waiver as the cut-off date for determining the eligibility was fixed at March 31, 2017.

They said a delay in payment would have an adverse impact on the CIBIL (Credit Information Bureau India Ltd) report of the farmers as they won’t be able to take fresh loans from the banks in the near future.

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