Emergency meeting held with bankers as Rythu Bandhu payments stopped

Hyderabad: Telangana chief secretary Somesh Kumar and state finance minister Harish Rao on Tuesday held an emergency meeting with bankers owing to instances of banks not allowing farmers to withdraw the money earmarked for them under the state’s flagship Rythu Bandhu programme. It was found that some banks were adjusting money from the scheme against old dues of farmers.

“Instances have come to the notice of the government that some banks are not allowing the farmers to withdraw their Rythu Bandhu amount given by the Government of Telangana and also adjusting the same against old dues,” said a statement from the Telangana government. During the meeting held between Kumar, Harish Rao and bankers, the former were told that no instructions were given to withhold Rythu Bandhu funds.

Finance minister Harish Rao also issued clear instructions to the bankers not to withhold any of the Rythu Bandhu amount in the coming future. Any amount which has been withheld/adjusted should be credited back to the
farmers account, he said. Strict instructions were be issued to the bank branches by the bankers about the same, the government said.

Moreover, district collectors were also instructed to monitor the situation with regard to this issue at the district level. A state level team will monitor any issues faced by farmers and two toll free numbers – 18002001001 and 04033671300 – have been set up to address any issues faced by farmers. The numbers will work from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. In addition, the finance minister also instructed bankers to expedite the disbursement/renewal of crop loans.

The meeting was also attended by Ramakrishna Rao, Principal Secretary (Finance), Ronald Rose,
Special Secretary (Finance), Raghunandan Rao, Secretary (Agriculture), Natarajan, deputy general manager, State Bank of India, Man Mohan Gupta, general manager, Bank of Baroda, Shaik Hussain, deputy general manager, Union
Bank of India and others.