Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath today urged bank officials to not issue any notice or take action against farmers benefiting from the crop loan waiver scheme. His remarks came after reports that some farmers in the state were allegedly issued bank notices despite being beneficiaries of the loan waiver scheme. Adityanath, addressing bank officials at a special state-level bankers committee meet, said the crop-loan waiver scheme will be successful only when the state government is able to ensure that relief reaches the bank accounts of every small and marginal farmer. “The development of 22 crore population of the state is directly linked to the development of villages. For holistic development of the state, co-operation of banks is needed to run welfare-centric programmes for the rural populace. This will also ensure that economic and social condition of the farmers, poor and those living in villages improve,” he said.
Observing that 78 per cent of UP’s population resides in its villages, Adityanath said that 93 per cent of the farmers of the state fall in the small and marginal category. “This makes it clear that the economy of the state is largely dependent on the small and marginal farmers. In the past few years, it is these farmers who have been forced to bear the brunt of natural calamities. In these circumstances, there are strong possibilities that the farmers will fall into trap of money lenders,” he said. Adityanath lamented that bank branches in the state are few in number. At present in the state, there are 16,583 bank branches, of which 8,176 are in rural areas. “The population-bank proportion in UP is 12,000 people per bank, while the all India average is 9,000. As far as the population-bank proportion of rural areas is concerned, the state average is nearly 21,000, while the pan-India average is 17,400,” he said.
The chief minister also observed that in order to boost digital payments and ensure that banking services reach the lowest strata of society, it is important to open more bank branches in rural areas. He cited an RBI order in this regard, and promised that the state government will extend all possible help. “The UP government is sensitive to the safety and security of banks and bankers,” he said. Adityanath also said that for development of eastern region of the state, a concrete workplan should be made and more loans should be given to those who approach the bank.