29 May 2017 | Last updated 02:31 PM

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Moneylenders have a field day
Shaikhlal Shaikh | Friday, 12 May 2017 AT 11:35 PM IST
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Aurangabad: Money-lending business is on the rise in the State. Around 10.56 lakh farmers and small traders were caught in the net of licensed moneylenders in one year. Loans worth Rs 1,254 crore were distributed to these people in 2016.

This is a 40 per cent increase in loan distribution compared to Rs 894 crore in 2015. This does not include illegal money lending.

The farmers are again approaching these moneylenders following mounting debts, droughts, crop failure and hailstorms.

As the farmers are not getting enough returns on their produce, they do not have money to buy seeds, fertilisers, educate and marry off their children. Hence, they are mortgaging their gold and land and taking loans from moneylenders. Small traders approach moneylenders for daily transactions.

In all, 12,208 licensed moneylenders are fulfilling needs of farmers and traders in the State.

Most farmers rely on crop loans for the Kharif and Rabi seasons. They carry out sowing after they get these loans. However, many farmers do not get crop loans in time despite many requests.

They had queued up in banks for crop loans last year. Around Rs 72,865 crore worth crop loans and farm term loans were distributed by all banks in 2015-16. Crop loans amounted to Rs 40,581 crore while other loans were valued at Rs 32,284 crore.

Yet, many farmers do not get crop loans and are forced to approach moneylenders, including illegal ones, who charge high rates of interest.

Banks disbursed loans worth Rs 9,946 crore in 2016-17 in Marathwada. The figures for 2014-15 and 2015-16 were Rs 13,546 crore and Rs 8,880 crore respectively. Over Rs 13,000 crore of loans would be distributed in Marathwada this year.

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