MumbaiThe state government is looking at ways to rope in district central cooperative banks (DCCBs) — which play a significant role in providing credit to the farm sector — to help it with its loan waiver scheme. But the DCCBs, drowning under dues from farmers of Rs8,839.59 crore, are now insisting that this be cleared first.What’s worse? The DCCBs said ever since the government announced the waivers, the repayment rate has dropped even further. Thirty-one DCCBs give out about 30% to 35% of all agricultural loans to farmers in the state. Over the years, Rs22,808 crore was the outstanding amount, and of this, DCCBs recovered Rs13,699 crore leaving them with dues of Rs8,839.59 crore till June 30, 2016. If this year is counted, the outstanding amount could be Rs3,000 crore more. The Jalgaon district cooperative bank, under former revenue minister and BJP leader Eknath Khadse, has the most amount due — Rs1,005.86 crore; Rs952 crore is due at Yavatmal district bank, and Rs827.64 crore at Nashik district cooperative bank. The DCCBs disbursed Rs15,000 crore as agriculture/crop loan in 2016-17, while the target for 2017-18 is Rs17,000 crore. The government has set the target for agricultural loan at Rs54,000 crore this year, and the share of private and nationalised banks was to be Rs37,000 crore.“The state will have to first clear overdues of DCCBs. Private and nationalised banks may be in a position to stagger the dues over the years against a government guarantee, but DCCBs do not have that kind of liquidity to disburse fresh loans if dues are not recovered,” said ML Sukhdeve, chairman, Maharashtra State Cooperative Bank.The dwindling repayment by farmers after the waiver was announced is another concern now. While the Centre’s decision to allow DCCBs to deposit demonetised notes, worth Rs2,772 crore, has provided some respite as it will improve cash flow, but it doesn’t solve the problem.The state has announced a farm loan waiver and expects a burden of Rs34,000 crore for its implementation, More than 30 lakh farmers are expected to be benefitted. Sixteen DCCBs are in a poor financial health, while three are controlled by administrators appointed by the RBI.