Bundelkhand farmers remain sceptical about loan waiver beenfits

March 1st, 2008 - 6:23 pm ICT by admin  

A file-photo of P. Chidambaram

New Delhi, March 1 (IANS) Farmers from Uttar Pradesh’s poverty-ridden Bundelkhand region are not much enthused by the Rs.600 billion farm loan waiver announced by Finance Minister P. Chidambaram in the annual budget as they doubt its benefits will ever reach them. A group of farmers from Mahoba district in the region told reporters here Saturday that their brethren in Bundelkhand were committing suicide as they were unable to pay back loans to banks and private lenders.

“The government comes out with many welfare schemes for farmers. But the benefits of such schemes have never reached us. The announcement of the loan waiver is also not going to benefit the farmers. It may benefit rich farmers,” said Bhairon Singh from Pachphera village.

They also complained of fraud and cheating at the hands of bank officials.

“There are hundreds of frauds which the banks have been committing on farmers. We fail to understand if the finance minister’s announcement is going to help us any way,” said Prithvi Singh, a former Pachphera village council head.

Moreover, “It is difficult to get a loan for farming without middlemen. They charge 10 percent for the loans sanctioned by the bank,” claimed Prithvi Singh.

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