Anantapur Member of Parliament Talari Rangaiah on Sunday write a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeking his intervention in lowering/slashing the interest rates charged by all banks in the country for ‘Tractor Loans’ that are mainly utilised by the poor farming community.
A copy of his letter to the Prime Minister released to the media pointed out at the large difference in rates of interest charged on luxury cars and tractor loans both by the PSU and private banks, which he said should be wiped out or tractor loans charged at a lower rate of interest than the luxury cars. “While a loan for a luxury car can be obtained at 7% annual interest rate with lower downpayment and longer term of repayment, the tractor loans are charged between 12.5% and 14% by the banks with a shorter repayment period,” Mr. Rangaiah wrote.
The agricultural debt burden, he said was taking 10,000 lives a year in the country, and the tractors loans are one of the factors contributing to this tragedy, he opined. “We don’t know, why this much sympathy for luxury cars and why this antipathy towards our kisans," he questioned. Tractors are essential commodities and not for luxury as it is meant for earning a livelihood.
Most of the Adivasi and Dalit farmers get loans at a 12.5% or 14% interest rate, therefore, a farmer repays ₹ 9 lakh on an ₹ 5.75 lakh loan for a tractor costing ₹ 6.35 lakh. “I request you to instruct the bankers to reduce interest rates on tractor loans on a par with luxury cars,” he concluded.
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