Thiruvananthapuram: Food and Civil Supplies Minister G R Anil has clarified that a farmer who takes the Paddy Receipt Sheet (PRS) loan does not incur any liability in connection with it.
K G Prasad (55), a farmer based in Alappuzha's Thakazhi, had ended his life after failing to fund his paddy cultivation. In his suicide note, Prasad alleged that the state government failed to make payment to the bank for the 'PRS loan' taken and the interest thereof, lowering his CIBIL score.
PRS loans are given to farmers on the basis of the Paddy Receipt Sheet in lieu of procurement of paddy. The PRS loan is extended by banks after procurement of paddy and the state government repays it later.
While responding to the media, the Minister on Saturday said that the PRS loan was fully paid by the government. He added that he would answer the queries and clarify the misconceptions on the matter after hearing the voice note of the deceased farmer.
The Minister also remarked that the media had reacted in a similar manner when Malayalam actor and farmer Krishnaprasad spewed allegations at the government. "But you've seen that his comments were not based on facts. He spread stories on non-payment even after getting a PRS loan a month and a half ago," he said.
Paddy procurement is a joint scheme of the Union and state governments. Out of 28 rupees 20 paise is given to farmers, 20 rupees 60 paise is given as an incentive by the central government and 7 rupees 80 paise is given by the state. After the rice is procured and processed, it reaches the ration shop through the NFSA godown. It is then distributed to the people. The process takes around six months. The PRS arrangement helps to pay the farmer immediately through the loan so that the payment is not delayed.
“This time steps were taken to distribute the money for the procured rice from 13. We have taken every step to prevent the delay faced last season. Timely payment of all farmers has been completed. About Rs 170 crore is ready to be disbursed now. Another Rs 200 crore has been sanctioned by the government. Even if the remaining amount is delayed by the Union government, we can think of alternatives," said GR Anil.