Demanding a change of loan policy and delinking CIBIL score for extending the agricultural loan, thousands of farmers staged a protest against the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) in Bengaluru on Tuesday.
Members of the Federation of State Farmers Associations and Karnataka Sugarcane Cultivators Association arrived from all across the state to protest in front of the RBI. However, the agitators were stopped by the police and a protest was staged near the building of the Department of Public Instruction.
The farmers insisted that the RBI officers should speak to them and resolve the issue. The police department had made tight security arrangements in the premises of the RBI.
Kurubur Shanthakumar, President of the Karnataka Sugarcane Cultivators Association stated that he had written a letter to the Bengaluru RBI Chief 20 days ago but got no no reply.
"When agricultural loans are granted, CIBIL score should not be considered. We are farmers who feed the country. Sometimes we are not able to pay back loans due to floods, or famine. It is not tenable to reject loans based on CIBIL scores," he said.
"The RBI should take back its loan policy. If it does not then the protests will continue. Farmers are not even getting Rs 1 lakh loan on their land which is worth crores of rupees, but loans in lakhs are given for the construction of houses," he angrily stated.
The RBI officers later agreed to meet a team of eight farmers. Initially, farmers rejected the offer by saying that they did not bother to answer their letter. They also demanded that the RBI officials should come to the place of protest and hear them out. Later police brokered peace and took a team of eight farmers near the RBI.
Later, the farmers explained about the need to change the loan policy, granting of loans based on the value of farm lands, granting of loans for children of farmers and under the Mudra Scheme. They said that the farmers are not getting education loans for their children.
They also took the officer to task for not bothering to reply to their letter. Later, the RBI representative gave an assurance that they will shortly be called for a meeting.