Reacting very sharply to the State Bank of India's (SBI) decision to put on hold loans for the purchase of tractors and other farm equipments, The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) slammed the banks’ decision, saying it once again "exposed" the "anti-farmer face" of the Congress-led UPA government and demanded its immediate roll back.
"The Congress-led UPA Government's anti-poor and anti-farmer face has once again come to the fore.... This decision will have an adverse impact on agriculture," Mr Rajnath Singh, BJP president said here.
Referring to the Rs. 60,000 crore debt waiver package made by the present Government in the much talked about Budget, he hinted at the empty promises made by the Government and accused the State Bank of India of hindering the progress of the farming sector and using ‘anti-farmer’ policies.
"This anti-farmer decision should be immediately withdrawn," he said noting that if the Government was serious about improving the agricultural sector, it should provide more loans to farmers at lower interest rates.
SBI had announced its decision to put on hold financing new farm equipments like tractor power tiller and combine harvester, in view of the mounting non-performing assets (NPAs) in the farm equipment loan sector. This move has been slammed by agricultural experts, criticizing the time at which it is being implemented, as it corresponds to the time when the farmers till the land to prepare it for sowing before the monsoon sets in.