THRISSUR: State government caught the attention of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to a widely known but little acted fraud in the banking sector in the name of low interest rates Agriculture ready.
In a letter to RBI officials, Agriculture Minister VS Sunilkumar called for an investigation into the case and action against those responsible.
The minister said that, according to figures provided by the State Level Bankers Committee (SLBC), around Rs 40,000 crore had been disbursed in the form of an agricultural loan, including the agricultural gold loan, in the State in 2017-18. However, only Rs 6,600 crore was disbursed under Kisan Credit Card scheme.
Beneficiaries of the loans have to pay an interest rate of only 4% and the Center repays the remaining 5% to the banks as support for agricultural activities. According to data provided by SLBC, the Center has allocated Rs 2,000 crore as an interest subsidy on state agricultural loans.
However, most of the beneficiaries of these loans do not engage in agricultural activity. Some even deposited the loan amounts as FD in banks for enjoy higher interest rates. From the loan figures, it can be assumed that the state’s largest banana and ginger growing areas are in cities, the minister said.
“Bank officials collude with those who engage in this corrupt practice. I asked SLBC officials to provide us with data on agricultural loans granted in all panchayats. confidentiality clauses. I told them I don’t want confidential data, but the state agriculture department wants to know who in the state has received farm loans, ”Sunilkumar said.
The minister said the government has suggested that in the future banks will only disburse agricultural loans after obtaining a certificate from the region’s agriculture official indicating that the amount will be used only for agricultural activities.
Meanwhile, SLBC officials have acknowledged that the diversion of agricultural loans for other purposes cannot be completely ruled out. “But we cannot say that everyone who took advantage of the agricultural loans is using the amount for other purposes. Also, we cannot stop this practice of giving agricultural loans, abruptly, because it will affect real farmers. “People then go to private financial institutions for quick loans. However, we have told banks to be more careful when sanctioning agricultural loans,” said a senior SLBC official.

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