The government’s farm loan waiver norms are increasingly harassing small farmers across various parts of the country. In another inhuman episode reported from Karnataka’s Shimoga district, a farmer was made to walk 15 kilometres to repay a loan amount of 3 rupees and 46 paise, according to News 18.
Amade Lakshminarayana, an areca grower from Baruve village in the forests of the Western Ghats received a call from the Canara Bank branch at a nearby town, Nittur, asking him to come immediately to repay the loan amount.
The bank gave him no further details. Panicking, Lakshminarayana then walked 15 kilometres to reach the bank as there was no bus service due to the COVID-19 lockdown.
When he reached the bank, officials told him that his due amount was a paltry 3 rupees and 46 paise. Shocked, the farmer immediately paid the amount to clear the loan.
According to him, he had taken ₹35,000 agriculture loan from the bank. Out of that, ₹32,000 was waived off by the government and he had repaid remaining ₹3,000 a few months ago.
The local Canara Bank manager L Pingva said that auditing was underway in the branch and to renew his loan he had to clear the outstanding amount of 3 rupees and 46 paisa. They also needed his signature.
Meanwhile, the Madhya Pradesh government paints a similar picture as many farmers received loan waivers under the government’s scheme, but now, the banks want the money back.
Bhojraj Patidar, a farmer from MP, had procured a farm loan waiver certificate for ₹83,000 during the Kamal Nath government term. However, the bank has been calling Patidar and his son to deposit the very amount.
The previous Congress government in the state had decided to waive off the farm loans of around 48 lakh farmers. But before the loan waiver could be implemented, the government was dethroned. The BJP government is now maintaining silence on the loan waiver issue, pushing as many as 15 lakh farmers into confusion and uncertainty.