Paddy procurement: Non-allocation of union, state funds indebts Kerala farmers with Rs 3,001 cr

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Thiruvananthapuram: Supplyco, which has been procuring paddy from Kerala farmers, has not yet made payments to their bank accounts in return.

The delay has been attributed to lack of funds, supposed to be borne by state and union governments. This delay has put Rs 3,001 crore debt burden on farmers in an indirect manner, affecting their CIBIL scores.

It may be noted that banks pay the paddy farmers for the procurement on the basis of Paddy Receipt Sheet (PRS) issued by the Supplyco. Banks record this payment as a loan given to the farmer. As a result, if the Supplyco has not paid the banks, then it will become farmer’s debt.

Supplyco has arrears worth Rs 954.46 crore and Rs 2,046.84 crore towards banks in the financial years 2020-21 and 2021-22, respectively. It also owes 8.5 per cent as interest to the banks.

Supplyco maintains that farmers are not bound to pay the debt. Meanwhile, if the payment is delayed and it breaches the given time limit, then two per cent interest needs to be given as fine. Even that will not have to be paid by the farmers, Supplyco clarified.

However, arrears in turn are affecting the CIBIL scores of the farmers. Due to that their possibility of getting other loans too get reduced.

Authorities concerned maintained that measures to resolve the issue are getting implemented.

Supplyco has been procuring one kg paddy at Rs 28.20. Of which, Rs 19.40 has to be given by union government and Rs 8.80 by state government. But since two years, both the funds remain unallocated.

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