Bowing to pressure from several quarters, particularly from opposition parties, the TRS government on Tuesday granted administrative sanction for payment of Rs 2,019.19 crore to banks towards third instalment of the farm loan waiver scheme.With this, the government completed payment of this year’s instalment to banks. So far, since announcing the waiver programme in 2014, the government paid Rs 12,375.18 crore to banks. It needs to pay another Rs 4,624.82 crore as the final instalment next year.
Though the government issued an order extending administrative approval for the release of Rs 2,019.19 crore, it remains to be seen whether the amount is credited into accounts of farmers in one go. This is especially so because when the government released the first half of this ye ar’s instalment to banks, the finance department, after according administrative sanction, released the money in instalments. For instance, the first half of this year’s instalment of Rs 2,019.99 crore was released in July this year, but was credited to banks in two tranches of Rs 1,000 crore and Rs 1,019.99 crore.
Last year too, the government’s payment to banks in two instalments resulted in lakhs of farmers being deprived of timely crop loans from banks. “Granting administrative sanction is not exactly the release of funds. Far mers have seen almost a six month delay after the administrative sanction during previous payments,“ said Kanneganti Ravi, an activist with Rythu Swarajya Vedika.Another major concern this year on how much the farm loan waiver will actually help farmers following reorganisation of districts.
With 21 new districts and 125 new mandals, the shake up resulted in many departments including agriculture, horticulture and cooperation, not yet finding their feet in the new districts. This is expected to adversely impact the implementation of fund release for the loan waiver programme. For example, the beneficiaries in Siricilla town will no longer get funds from Medak district as it was made a district and the new treasury staff needs to finalise the list of beneficiaries and their account numbers with the banks.
eenadu news paper 09-11-2016: http://epaper.eenadu.net