PM's hollow promise to waive agri loans adds to burden of farmers

After about 16 months when the devastating floods wrecked havoc in all parts of the valley in July-August 2015 followed by the October 26 earthquake, none of the promises made by the prime minister has been fulfilled. The funds announced for the payment of compensation to the people whose houses were damaged in the floods and the earthquake were not paid to the genuinely affected people. In most of the cases, people from far-off areas were called to Chiral town, Drosh, Booni and Mastuj and asked to submit applications along with affidavits for the payment of compensations. Later, repeated surveys were conducted of the damaged hosues but the owners were left waiting for the payments. On the other hand, hundreds of people whose houses had not been damaged were paid cash amounting to millions of rupees through their connections in the local administration. Besides, none of the damaged infrastructures such as roads and bridges were reconstructed even after the passage of over 16 months. Ironically, the impact of the prime minister’s false promise to waive the agriculture loans has now started falling as bombshells on the poor people as bank officials have started harassing them to return their loans along with interest and fine for delayed payment. A resident of Bang village in the far-off Yarkhun valley told ChitralToday on phone that senior officials of Micro Finance Bank at a meeting in the village a couple of days ago issued last warning to the residents to pay the loans along with the fine and interest for the 22-month delay. When the residents told them that the prime minister had announced to waive the loans in July 2015 and in May this year the MNA Chitral, Shahzada Iftikharuddin, told a public gathering in Mastuj and later in Povur village that he had succeeded in getting the Zarai Tarqiati Bank loans written off and soon all the Micro Finance Bank loans would also be waived, the bank officials told them to call the MNA and ask about the progress themselves. At this, one of the participants of the meeting called the MNA and informed him about the concerns of the people. The MNA replied that he had not been able to get the notification issued from the State Bank of Pakistan as none of the government functionaries acted on his request. When ChitralToday sent a message to the MNA for an update on the matter, he did not respond back. An official in the ZTBL Chitral said as the State Bank did not issue any notification to waive the loans, the bank was left with no other option but to issue notices for the recovery of its stuck up amounts. He, however, said so far none of the people had returned the loans and the bank was in an awkward situation what to do next.]]>

5 Replies to “PM's hollow promise to waive agri loans adds to burden of farmers”

  1. Dear A poor farmer of Chitral,
    I am not feeling pain on relief to some poor people, but am feeling pain for the much poorer people who could never obtain loan from the banks. In fact the poorest farmers are not even allowed to enter the bank premises by the security guard. Relief when given should be equitable and not selective. This foul tradition of writing off loans from govt banks was set by Ziaul Haq to gain personal popularity and carried forward by Benazir, Musharraf and now Nawaz Sharif for the same cheap popularity purpose. No where in the world this happens. The govt can help poor farmers by insuring their produce and giving them seeds fertilisers etc on subsidised rates, but outright waiving of loans is criminal on the part of the PM or any one else. Yes, the PM can afford to pay for these loans from his pocket if he has promised so, but not from the public kitty, No.

  2. Dear Said Hakeem
    This is not a matter of excuse it was the time when people of Chitral passing through a very tough time. The Prime Minister himself realized and announced for waiver of Agriculture loans. It was some relief towards the helpless people from P.M. You should not feel pain if some poor people of Chitral gets benefit from this package. If this package is not come to Chitral what benefit will you take, keep big heart. To make loan write off is the discretion of Prime Minister and if he is not waiving/write off the loan as announced by himself in the gathering has no right to remain as Prime Minister of Pakistan. P.M’s commitment is not like other/ordinary peoples/politicians commitment. He is Prime Minister of Pakistan. Now the Prime Minister should issue directives to the concerned bank to write off the loans. If PM wish he can pay this Rs.100-150 million from his own pocket also. It is not a big issue for him.
    I will request Chitraltoday to forward this letter to Honorable Prime Minister for reminder.

  3. The MNA from Chitral is requested to please take up the issue with the government on the floor of the house to stop the bank staff from make the lives of the poor farmers a hell.

  4. The Prime Minister of Pakistan is a great man who will not disappoint the poor farmers of Chitral and will fulfil his commitment to waives/write off the small agri loans in Chitral, which is not a big issue for the government. The PM will not make a false promise. We should trust our leadership and government.

    1. Dear, A poor farmer of Chitral.
      The Prime minister is not morally authorised to write off bank loans on any excuse. Bank money is not his personal money but belongs to all people of Pakistan.It will be injustice to those poor farmers who could not obtain loans from the banks. There has to be a stop to this unhealthy practice. Maybe right from now.

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