The Reserve Bank has refused to concede the request of AP Govt for rescheduling of agricultural loans under the pretext that the bank accounts of all farmers has shown surplus funds and Kisan cards renewed but loans were deliberately not paid in anticipation of waiver.
The RBI's fresh missive has caused a set back and embarrassment to Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu as he went to town claiming credit for achieving the loan rescheduling as a first step in implementing his promise of total loan waiver.
Chandrababu had announced last week that all crop loans and gold loans (taken for agriculture) up to Rs 1.5 lakh would be waived as the state government would carry the entire debt burden costing a whopping Rs37,000 crore. Ahead of Haryana and Maharashtra assembly polls the NDA government is cautious to support the loan waiver sop of both Telagnana and AP. We have nothing to say about the poll promise made by both Govts and it is their head ache said NDA minister Venkaiah Naidu recently.
Naidu's repeated parleying with centre and RBI and communications have failed to change the status on loan waiver scheme as the state entered the final week of khariff season and farmers left high and dry without crop loans and suspense over old loans. We dont feel ground situation is not distress enough to require reschedule' RBI Executive Director Deepali Pant Joshi observed in a letter to Chief Secretary Krishna Rao on Saturday.
RBI also noted that farmers' distress is not the key issue in non-repayment of loans because balances in the farmers' savings bank accounts in rural and semi-urban areas increased. Data received from major banks functioning in the state revealed that before April 2014, the number of Kisan Credit Card renewals was similar to the previous year. Farmers have money but had not paid loans anticipating waiver says RBI .The apex bank also felt that in view of rains and other conditions only half the area would be under cultivation and hence rescheduling of entire loans was not feasible.