Punjab State Cooperative Agricultural Development Bank (PADBs) has taken some major policy decisions to revive the agricultural banks in the state and to provide some relief to the distressed farmers.

Stating this today, Cooperation Minister Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa said the bank had launched a loan restructuring scheme for the defaulters who could not pay their instalments in the past few years because of their distressed financial position.

He further said a provision had been made under the scheme that if a borrower paid 20% of his outstanding amount at the time of restructuring, the entire penal interest outstanding in his account would be waived. Moreover, the borrower would be eligible for a subsequent loan if he regularly paid 1/3rd of the restructured loan amount.

Randhawa further said the bank had also decided to provide a six-month moratorium to standard loan accounts on unpaid loan instalments due for repayment during the peak of disruptions caused by Covid-19 pandemic i.e. March 1, 2020 to August 31, 2020. This would provide a relief to the borrowers who could not pay their instalments in this period and these would be deferred by six months in such a way that the residual tenure of loan account would be shifted, revealed the minister.

Registrar, Cooperative Societies, Vikas Garg, said the bank had also extended the ongoing scheme of waiver of penal interest till March 31, 2021. Under the scheme, the entire penal interest outstanding in the borrower’s loan account is waived if he repaid the entire defaulter amount or closes his loan account. This scheme was launched in October 2020 and about 4,000 farmers have benefitted from the scheme and availed a relief of about Rs 1.23 crore.

“At present of 89 PADBs, only 30 PADBs are advancing fresh loans to the farmers. After the revision of the bank’s audit classification norms, now the number of such banks which can advance fresh loans will go up to 70, enabling more farmers to avail financial assistance from the PADBs,” said the Registrar.


Source: February 03, 2021, The Tribune