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Agriculture debt relief including writing off loans, but no benefit to borrowers

New Delhi: As per Reserve Bank of India (RBI) guidelines and policy approved by Bank Boards, non-performing loans, including, inter alia, those in respect of which full provisioning has been made on completion of four years are removed from the balance-sheet of the bank concerned by way of a write-off. Writing off of loans is done, inter alia, for tax benefit and capital optimization.

Borrowers of such written off loans continue to be liable for repayment. Recovery of dues takes place on an ongoing basis under applicable legal mechanisms. Therefore, write-off does not benefit borrowers.

At present, there is no Loan waiver scheme under implementation by the Union Government. As informed by National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD), during the years 2016 and 2017 some State Governments have announced their own schemes, inter-alia, of waiver of a loan of farmers.

The last debt waiver scheme viz; Agricultural Debt Waiver and Debt Relief Scheme, 2008 (ADWDRS, 2008) announced by the Union Government were implemented in the year 2008. The debt waiver portion of the ADWDRS, 2008 was closed by its due date i.e. 30.6.2008, while the debt relief portion of the Scheme was closed on 30.6.2010. The Scheme benefitted 3.73 crore farmers to the extent of Rs. 52,259.86 crore.

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