Demand to stem usury to help farmers – The Statesman

Posted on Monday, April 28th, 2008 by in Politics, Raiganj.

A concrete planning is yet to come up from the government with an objective to save the farmers from usury. Till date around 33 per cent farmers throughout the country received loan from government banks for cultivation. Another 67 per cent are still dependent on money lenders. Ultimately a good number of farmers every year commit suicide after running into debt.
In order to save agriculture and farmers Swaminathan Commission last year proposed to the UPA government to create a fund in the Budget for providing agricultural loans to the farmers at the rate of 4 per cent. But the proposal is yet to be implemented. Last year, the farmers of the country were worst affected. In order to save them the UPA government has decided to waive farm-loan amoun-ting to Rs 60,000 crore amount of agricultural loan. “We welcome this decision. But it is heart rending that still farmers are getting loan from bank at the rate of 11 to 14 per cent interest.On the other hand the corporate sectors in some cases are receiving loan at the rate of less than 11 per cent interest.
“Very soon we will press the UPA government to implement the proposal of Swaminat-han Commission for the benefit of agriculture and farmers. “If they fail to implement the proposal of the Swa-minathan Commission for the benefit of agriculture and farmers we will organise a movement against them through out the country,” said, the president of All India Bank Employees Association Mr Rajen Nagar in Raiganj last night where he attended the 5th Joint Conference of Bengal Provencial Bank Employees’ Association & All India Bank Officers’ Association of North Dinajpur district held in the conference hall of Raiganj merchant Association.
Mr Nagar also said that in terms of providing loan all the banks are prefering corporate sectors for which the agriculture of the country is neglected. As a result price hike remains uncontrolled.This is making the rich richer and poor poorer.
Apart from Mr Nagar,the state civil defence minister Dr Sreekumar Mukherjee also attended this conference as chief guest.He also demanded UPA government to make a policy by which the banks are forced to allow farmers a loan at lower interest.