Doubts over state’s `11,000-cr crop loan re­pay­ment claim

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - HT Navi Mumbai Live - - NEWS - Ku­nal Puro­hit ku­nal.puro­hit@hin­dus­tan­times.com

A day af­ter the state said it would give drought-hit farm­ers more time to re­pay crop loans, cracks are emerg­ing about how the gov­ern­ment plans to re­struc­ture the loans worth Rs11,000 crore.

Re­struc­tur­ing means con­vert­ing short-term one-year loans to medium-term loans, where re­pay­ment du­ra­tion is ex­tended to five years.

While po­lit­i­cal par­ties and agri­cul­tural ex­perts wel­come the move, doubts per­sist about how it will be im­ple­mented, and sev­eral ex­perts have pointed out how the fig­ures could be ex­ag­ger­ated.

On Tues­day, the state cabi­net ap­proved re­struc­tur­ing crop loans worth Rs10,941 crore in 26,670 drought-hit vil­lages across the state. The move was meant to en­sure farm­ers get more time to clear debt and are still el­i­gi­ble to get fresh credit this year. Of the amount, the gov­ern­ment es­ti­mated last year’s crop loans would be worth Rs5,000 crore, while an­other Rs3,503 crore of loans from the 2014 Kharif sow­ing sea­son will be re­struc­tured.

The gov­ern­ment has de­cided to ask the Re­serve Bank of In­dia per­mis­sion to re­struc­ture Rs2,438 crore of out­stand­ing loans taken by 4.4 lakh farmer in 2012-13 and 2013-14. But th­ese fig­ures are con­tentious.

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