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Bank denies forcible loan recovery

By Our Staff Correspondent

MADIKERI, JUNE 13. The President of the Kodagu District Cooperative Central (KDCC) Bank, M.A. Ramesh, clarified here on Saturday that the bank was not resorting to forcible recovery of loans from growers, and it functioned in the interests of the farmers.

Mr. Ramesh's statement comes in the wake of allegations made against the bank by the Kodagu District Growers Okkuta recently. He said there had been no incident of the bank officials either harassing or confiscating the properties of loan defaulters. Notices had to be served as per the rule. His statement was endorsed by the vice-president of the bank, K.M. Mandanna. Mr. Ramesh said as on March 31, 2004, of the 23,505 farmers (also growers) who had taken Rs. 108.03 crore as agricultural loan from the bank, 5,725 farmers had become defaulters of Rs. 19.97 crore.

In the non-agriculture sector, Rs. 43.08 crore was disbursed as loan to 2,580 farmers, of which 460 had become defaulters of Rs. 4.03 crore. In spite of this, the bank had repaid the entire amount it had taken as loan from the Karnataka State Cooperative Apex Bank. He said during 2004-05, Rs. 42 crore was disbursed as loan to the farmers from the Vyavasaya Seva Sahakara Sangha Niyamita (VSSSN) banks, covering 9,600 farmers. The total outstanding loan (including Rs. 42 crore) in this area stood at Rs. 106 crore. The NABARD refinance could be received only if these loans were cleared. Besides, with a view to tide over the repayment crisis, the bank had converted Rs. 5.32 crore of crop loan into medium-term loan, extending the repayment period to three more years. An amount of Rs. 12.46 crore was converted into special coffee term loan, covering 976 defaulters with a principal-free repayment for three years and extending the repayment period to nine years, Mr. Ramesh said. The Managing Director of the bank, B.A. Mahadevappa, clarified that notices were being issued to the defaulters as per the specified format.

B.D. Manjunath, another director, said the State Government was yet to release Rs. 6 crore to the bank, which was part of the Rs. 11-crore interest waiver during the previous year. The other directors, N.A. Kaverappa, A.V. Shanta Kumar and M.S. Nanda Kumar, and the General Manager, Madaiah, were present.

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