Chandigarh, July 29: The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has promised the Punjab Government that nationalised and commercial banks will give fresh loans to farmers who have stopped repaying their crop loans in anticipation of a debt waiver.
This assurance was given by top RBI officials during a meeting with a delegation of the state government in Mumbai on Friday evening. The delegation, including Finance Minister Manpreet Singh Badal and Chief Principal Secretary Suresh Kumar, had sought the apex regulatory bank’s intervention, apprehending that the farmers’ loans would be declared bad/non-performing assets (NPA).
Officials are learnt to have said that the farmers would be eligible for fresh loans as and when the government repays their crop loans to the banks.
The government functionaries also discussed the outline of the crop loan relief/waiver that Punjab is offering to over 10 lakh farmers. The state will be raising Rs9,500 crore — Rs3,600 crore from National Cooperative Development Corporation to repay the re-finance availed by the state cooperative banks from NABARD (National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development) and Rs6,000 crore to repay the loans taken by farmers from nationalised and commercial banks.
The state Finance Department is weighing the options to raise the Rs6,000-crore loan — through securitisation, from a consortium of four banks; or through the issuance of bonds. “We will work out within the next couple of days how this money is to be raised. The debt waiver scheme will be implemented thereafter,” said Suresh Kumar.
News Source: http://www.tribuneindia.com