‘No rain-hit ryot should be denied loan’

Hyderabad, December 31: Chief minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy today urged the State Level Bankers’ Committee (SLBC) and the member banks to go to the rescue of farming community by promptly rescheduling the kharif crop loans and sanctioning fresh advances.

Addressing the 172nd SLBC Meeting with special focus on the agriculture sector at Jubilee Hall here, the chief minister also requested them to pass on the interest waiver benefit of the state government to the affected farmers.

He asked all the banks to complete the exercise of conversion of crop loans of the affected farmers into mediumterm loans before March 31, 2011 and extend fresh crop loans for rabi without waiting for the completion of the loan conversion.

The SLBC should closely monitor the progress to ensure that no deserving farmer is deprived of bank assistance and extend cooperation in rehabilitating the farming community by strictly complying with the directives of the RBI, he said.

The government had initiated steps to issue operational guidelines in respect of the interest waiver benefit proposed for the current kharif loans. The banks should undertake conversion of crop loans including interest and credit the interest to the respective loan accounts as and when it is released by the government, the chief minister said.

The banking community should stand by the farmers in distress and assure them of support, both financial and moral, he added.

The chief minister urged the SLBC to resolve the OTS issue related to settlement of weavers’ loans urgently so that weavers could resume their activities with fresh bank loans.

SLBC president R Ramachandran said the banks had, in principle, agreed to reschedule crop loans and extend further finance. All banks would proactively react and extend all the required assistance to the distressed farmers to overcome the adverse impact on the rural economy, he said.

He, however, said unless there was continuing thrust on prompt repayment culture, it was difficult for the system to sustain. He appealed to the government departments to extend necessary assistance to banks in recovery of loans, especially under agriculture, SHG bank linkage and weaker section housing.

Revenue minister N Raghuveera Reddy requested the banks to immediately reschedule crop loans in the affected areas and extend finance for crop production without insisting on recovery.