It’s going to be easy farm loans in Punjab from Monday, as the state government has amended the agriculture-land mortgage law to eliminate the middleman role of the revenue department.
Under the amended law that became part of the Punjab government gazette after the Presidential assent on June 20 and would come into force from August 25, the loan-seeking farmers would sign agreement with the bank directly and only need to send a copy to the revenue department for record.
Earlier, they had to first obtain clearances and land detail documents from the revenue department, which was a long, cumbersome process.
HT has the copy of the detailed amended Act and the compliance letter from the additional secretary (revenue) to all the deputy commissioners of Punjab. Earlier, the farmers had to pay huge money to the revenue department officials starting from patwari to get the necessary land documents to be able to apply for loan.
The amended Punjab Agricultural Credit Operations and Miscellaneous Provisions (Banks) Act, 1978, says that the farmer will apply with the bank directly and the banks, not farmers, would further ask the revenue department for document clearances.
“The amendment would save the revenue department a lot of futile work and save farmers repeated visits to the offices of tehsildar and naib tehsildar. Besides, it will eliminate the scope of middlemen’s seeking bribe for registering the documents,” said Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar (Nawanshahr) deputy commissioner Anindita Mittra.
The amendment in Sections 4(a) and 4(b) of the Act says: “Whenever an agreement for loan in exchange of agriculture land as mortgage is created…, the bank may give intimation in writing to the tehsildar or naib tehsildar within whose jurisdiction the whole or part of the property mortgaged is situated.”
The tehsildar, naib tehsildar or any other revenue official designated will make a note of the particulars of change in the record of land rights.
Earlier, the farmer had to go through the process of registration of agreement with the bank first and the tehsildar and naib tehsildar later, which took two to three weeks.
Now the bank concerned will only collect the facilitation free of Rs. 1,000 from the farmers (apart from Rs. 100 as pasting fee) and submit it to the state revenue department.