Farmers’ arrest: Meeting with Axis Bank on Nov 7

Farmers’ arrest: Meeting with Axis Bank on Nov 7

Karnataka Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy. DH photo.

Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy, on Monday, directed the Belagavi district administration to hold a reconciliation meeting between farmers and officials of Axis Bank on November 7, in the backdrop of the bank having secured arrest warrants for non-payment of loans.

“With respect to the Axis Bank having moved court in Kolkata against non-repayment of loans, and the court having issued arrest warrants, the chief minister today, directed the district administration and police to sort out the issue,” said a statement from the Chief Minister’s Office.

Accordingly, Belagavi Deputy Commissioner S B Bommanahalli, will chair a meeting with defaulting farmers and Axis Bank; on November 7, where both parties are expected to reach a settlement amicably, the CMO said.

Kumaraswamy has had to step in after five farmers in Belagavi, were issued an arrest warrant by a Kolkata court for defaulting on loans they borrowed for purchase of farm machinery and land development. Apparently, nearly 150 farmers have borrowed loans from Axis Bank.

The issue is threatening to snowball into a major controversy. The Kumaraswamy administration has already announced a Rs 45,000 crore crop loan waiver - applicable for loans outstanding as on July 10, 2018 - and has repeatedly said that farmers need not worry about repayment. Kumaraswamy has also publicly threatened banks against pressurizing farmers on repaying loans.

Statement from Axis Bank

Sadashiva Mallya, Regional Branch Banking Head- South, Axis Bank, told that the bank is working towards amicable loan repayment process through a one-time settlement scheduld.

“Our bank through its branches has extended various credit facilities to farmers who have borrowed money for their agricultural/farm related activities. In accordance with the laws of the land, legal proceedings were initiated almost six months ago following failure of loan repayment by the farmers. The bank has also been working towards an amicable loan repayment process through a one-time settlement schedule and would like to encourage the farmers to avail this opportunity," he said.

"We are cognizant of the notification issued by the Government of Karnataka on the loan waiver scheme and shall be aligned with the state government and the SLBC directives in this regard. Needless to say, the interests of the farmers are of utmost priority and the bank will work with the Government of Karnataka to resolve the matter in the best interests of all parties concerned,” Mallya added.

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