Fishing boat owners, who have applied for loans under the Kisan Credit Card (KCC) scheme, say some banks were not receiving their application forms.
“Some banks, in particular some of the nationalized banks, do not want to grant us loans. They want to lend only ₹20,000 which is barely enough to buy nets, boats or motors,” said Kabaddi Maran, a community leader.
A retired official from the Fisheries Department said that this problem was mostly seen in urban areas where in most cases the fishermen were outside the control of the fishing hamlet panchayat. “The nationalized banks are hesitant because under the deep-sea fishing regime, the reimbursement has not been correct. Many ended up as NPA. They are afraid that these fishermen will not repay either expecting a loan waiver,” he said.
In rural areas such as Tiruvallur district, village panchayats take responsibility for repaying loans. “One village, Periya Mangodu, has been so good at repaying that the previous group of 60 people paid the amount and now 80 men want loans. If a man doesn’t repay, the others will make sure he does,” another source said.
Department sources said the requirements vary from person to person. Some want to buy boats, nets, while others want to repair boats and still others need the loan for their working capital. “The banks and the ministry calculated the loan amounts for various requirements. For country crafts, working capital can be ₹60,000 and investment amount up to ₹1 lakh. For daily boats, working capital would be ₹75,000. Likewise, boats that travel for 2-5 days and multi-day boats also have a fixed amount,” he said.