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India - At meet to aid farmers, officials get Rs 21000 coupons

While the farmers are yet to receive a single penny for crop damage due to bad monsoon this year, the public representatives and officials in Rajasthan State Cooperative Bank Limited (the top institution of the district central cooperative banks) pocketed cash coupons worth Rs 21,000 each as gift for attending a meeting to discuss crop insurance and compensation to the farmers.

Those who collected coupons include Congress leader and bank chairman Leela Maderna, MD K.K. Gupta, professional directors P.P. Singh, Narayan Singh and Brijesh Agarwal, the special secretary to cooperative minister and two district collectors. Overall, 19 cash coupons were distributed to those who attended the meeting and the remaining 10 were distributed among officials of the bank, finance department and cooperative department.

It has been an old practice in the bank to distribute gifts to the members who come for the meeting. Generally, blankets or briefcases are distributed but this time cash coupons were purchased from Axis Bank. Another deviation from this practice was to gift coupons to even those not present in the meeting, which included the cooperative minister’s special secretary.

Ironically, the same cooperative banks have been acting tough with the farmers regarding loans. The banks have set strict targets for their employees to collect loans from the farmers despite the fact that the farmers have still not received compensation for their damaged kharif crop, which also forced them to take loan from private money lenders for rabi crop. Rajasthan is one of the worst-affected states in the country because of bad monsoon this year, with 15,000 villages drought-affected.

Source – http://www.asianage.com