2 lakh farmers facing certificate cases

About two lakh farmers across country are facing certificate cases for defaulting repayment of agricultural loans.
The financial burden caused grave concern among the affected families, according to the farmers as well as the banks.
Agricultural researchers and teachers said that e farmers become loan defaulters for not getting just prices of produces or due to crop losses.
Bangladesh Krishak Samity leaders appealed to the government to waive interests on agricultural loans and create the opportunity of easier loan repayments by rescheduling payment of installments.
Bangladesh Bank general manager of the Agricultural Credit Department Manoj Kanti Bairagi refused to provide any information regarding the certificate cases to New Age.
He, however, said that he was reviewing information provided by the farm credit lending scheduled banks about the certificate cases.
He gave time to New Age to say that the information about the certificate cases against farmers being ‘very sensitive’ should not be published in election year.
He also said that newspaper reports on the certificate cases could be embarrassing for the government.
Approximately 1.15 lakh certificate cases are in the trial stage, officials of three state run banks told New Age.
They said that Bangladesh Krishi Bank, Janata Bank and the Sonali Bank had filed the certificate cases against 1.15 lakh farmers for the recovery of defaulted loans worth Tk 360 crore.
Until March 31, BKB was handling 81,743 certificate cases for the recovery of defaulted loans to the tune of Tk 270 crore, Janata Bank — 18,7 35 cases for the recovery of defaulted loans worth Tk 35 crore while Sonali Bank– 14,315 cases for the
recovery of Tk 63.50 crore in defaulted credit, they said.
They said that the certificate cases were filed against the farmers with great reluctance each of whom defaulted repayment agricultural loan not exceeding Tk 300,000.
Bangladesh Krishak Samity General Secretary Sajjad Jahir Chandan told New Age that over two lakh farmers across the country were facing certificate cases.
He said that farmers were usually very good at loan repayments.
He also said that the farmers become defaulters only due crop failures or for facing hardship due to not getting due price of their crops.
He said that coercive methods should not be applied against farmers for the recovery of defaulted loans.
Banks extended agricultural loans to farmers for fish farming and raising livestock.
Farmer Abul Hossain from Senda, Suntanpur, Brahmanbaria took Tk 50,000 as agricultural loan from a local branch of Agrani Bank in 2005 and defaulted on his repayments.
According to agriculture ministry, 97.59 lakh farmers opened bank accounts by depositing Tk 10 each and now they have deposits worth Tk 250 crore .
The government provided them the opportunity to open bank accounts by depositing only Tk 10.
Officials said that the government deposits incentive money and other financial assistance to farmers in the event of crop losses due to weather action in the bank accounts of the affected farmers.
Senior agronomist and Agrarian Research Foundation Chairman Abdul Hamid described most of the farmers as good and simple folks who are always keen to repay their loans.

Source: New Age.


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