Punjab Agricultural Development Bank plans to auction land of loan defaulters
Officials said as many as 2,675 farmers out of the 4,262, who had taken farm loans from the PADB, have been termed ‘defaulters’ by the bank, as they have failed to repay their loan instalments on time.punjab Updated: Jan 04, 2018 14:04 IST
With more than 62% farmers of the district having failed to repay farm loans, taken from the Punjab Agricultural Development Bank (PADB) on time, the bank is planning to auction their agricultural land to recover the loan amount.
Officials said as many as 2,675 farmers out of the 4,262, who had taken farm loans from the PADB, have been termed ‘defaulters’ by the bank, as they have failed to repay their loan instalments on time. A sum of Rs 29.95 crore has been lying pending against these farmers.
Two months ago, the bank launched a ‘name-and-shame drive’ and held protests outside the big defaulters’ houses.
Officials said that during the recovery drive conducted last year, the bank recovered Rs 7.7 crore from the farmers. The farmers who have failed to deposit their loan instalments on time, have to return the amount with 14% interest.
The move comes in the wake of the state government’s direction to co-operative banks to recover their loans from all major defaulters as the banks were unable to arrange money for small farmers.
“If the loan defaulters fail to respond to the third notice, their properties will be seized and auctioned,” said PADB’s district manager Surinder Singh.
He said action against the defaulting farmers will be taken under the Punjab Cooperative Societies Act, 1961, and the Revenue Recovery Act ,1890, to recover the pending amount.
Two months ago, the bank launched a ‘name-and-shame drive’ and held protests outside the big defaulters’ houses. In Kapurthala district, the PADB bank has arrears of Rs 78.7 crore against farmers and has recovered Rs 11.9 crore from the farmers so far.
The Kapurthala branch of the bank has asked former Akali minister Raghubir Singh and his son to pay back their loan of Rs 90 lakh before January 15, failing which their 6-acre agriculture land will be seized. They are, according to officials, number 2 on the defaulters’ list, followed by farmer Sarabjit Singh of Kilewala village.
A farmer, Rana Daljit Singh, was also booked in 2015 by the Kapurthala police for taking a loan of Rs 14.5 lakh by forging land documents. Meanwhile, bank officials have started issuing final recovery notices to defaulters.