A crop loan waiver scheme launched by Rajasthan chief minister Vasundhara Raje to ease her political crisis before this year’s Assembly election has hit the headlines even as NCDC sources deny giving loan for waiving off farmers’ loan.
“The news is erroneous as we have given loan to Rajasthan govt for supporting farmers’ input needs for the next season and not for waiving off old dues”, said a highly-placed source in NCDC-the prime lender of cooperatives in the country.
Readers would recall widespread media reporting in which it was told that the National Cooperative Development Corporation has sanctioned Rs 5,000 crore for the farmers’ waiver scheme in Rajasthan.
Ms. Raje had announced one-time loan waiver up to Rs. 50,000 each for small and marginal farmers and the scheme was extended to cover all farmers. It is expected to benefit 2.93 million farmers. The scheme is likely to cost Rs. 8,000 crore.
Talking to Indian Cooperative, NCDC official said waiving off loan for once is not the solution as farmers would be needing money immediately to buy inputs for the next season. It is here that the role of NCDC has come into play, explaining the rationale behind NCDC’s support, he said.
He also traced the long history of NCDC and explained how stringent the Co-op organization had been in giving loans.” Our recovery rate of 99 per cent also explains that our loans produce results and returns and it is hardly ever wasted in waiving off past loans”, he stated.
It bears recall that Ms. Raje had announced one-time loan waiver up to Rs. 50,000 each for small and marginal farmers and the scheme was extended to cover all farmers.
Media reports suggest the Raje government has provided a written guarantee to the Apex Cooperative Bank to secure the loan, which will be repaid to the NCDC in two instalments within 270 days.
About 1,09,000 eligible farmers, whose loans worth Rs. 250 crore have been waived, are from Banswara district.
However, opposition Congress has not taken kindly to the loan waiver scheme and accused the ruling BJP of using subterfuges and bluff to stay in power.