Default agri loan rises by 28pc as farmers suffer for political unrest

The default loans in the agriculture sector increased by 28.79 per cent as of December 31, 2013 from that of the same month in 2012 as the farmers failed to repay their loans for not getting fair prices of their products due to a supply chain disruption amid political unrest.
According to the latest BB data, the default loans in the farm sector increased to Tk 6,211.13 crore as of December 31, 2013 from Tk 4,803.80 crore as of December 31, 2012.
A large number of farmers failed to repay their loans in the second quarter of the fiscal year 2013-14 as they counted huge losses for failure in supplying their products to upazila and district headquarters and to metropolitan cities due to frequent blockades and hartals called by the opposition political parties in the period, a BB official told New Age on Thursday.
The farm sector default loans accounted for 19.43 per cent of the total loans (Tk 31,969.75 crore) disbursed in the sector as of December 31, 2013.
The classified loans in the agriculture sector were 17.15 per cent of the total loans (Tk 28,182.86 crore) disbursed as of November 30, 2012.
Bangladesh Krishi Bank held the largest amount of default farm loans or 47.62 per cent amounting to Tk 2,957.92 of the banking sector as of December 31, 2013.
The BKB, however, disbursed the highest amount of farm loans of Tk 14,586.66 crore among the banks against the total distributed outstanding farm loans of Tk 31,969.75 crore.
The BB data showed that the default loans at Sonali Bank stood at Tk 1,181.43 crore as of December 31, 2013, that of Rajshahi Krishi Unnayan Bank Tk 1,479.64 crore, that of Agrani Bank Tk 274.71 crore, that of Janata Bank Tk 213.67 crore, and that of Rupali Bank 22.06 crore.
The agriculture sector default loans in the private and foreign commercial banks increased by 171.60 per cent to Tk 85.01 crore as of December 31, 2013 from Tk 30.08 crore as of December 31, 2102.
A BB official told New Age on Thursday that the state-run banks held larger amount of the agriculture default loans than those of the PCBs and the FCBs as the state-run banks usually disburse the majority of the agriculture loans in the banking sector.
Under the circumstances, the overdue loans in the agriculture sector also increased in the period, he said.
The BB data showed the overdue loans in the sector also rose by 27.03 per cent in the last one year.
The BB data revealed that the overdue loans in the agriculture sector rose to Tk 7,652.72 crore as of December 31, 2013 from Tk 6,024.06 crore as of December 31, 2012. BB officials said that the overdue loans would turn into default ones if the political parties continue to call blockades and hartals in the coming months.

-With New Age input

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