"But no one has come, either from the bank or from the government to explain the procedure," the farmer said, a little nervous. In village after village of Mahoba, farmers are waiting for something concrete to reach them from the Uttar Pradesh capital Lucknow about 200 km away despite a clear announcement that loans up to 1 lakh rupees will be waived off for small and marginal farmers.
At the State Bank of India's Kulpahar branch where farmer Kalyan Singh has a bank account, the bank's field officer Deepak Kumar says they don't have a clue either. Every time he holds a camp in the belt, Mr Kumar said farmers ask them about the loan waiver. "But we don't have information ourselves so what do we pass on," he says.
Farmers Sushil Kumar and Panna Lal hold up the notice from their bank for loan recovery even after the waiver was announced.
"If this does not get waived, I don't know what I will do," the 45-year-old Sushil Kumar told NDTV. The bank has told him he will have to repay a 90,000 rupee loan taken in 2009 for a bore well in his field. With interest, he owes the bank 2 lakh.
At Sushil's bank, the Uttar Pradesh Sahkari Gram Vikas Bank has put up a big banner right at the entrance: "No one from this bank qualifies for a loan waiver".
What the government didn't clarify, Mr Kushwaha said, was that this waiver would not cover loans classified as long-term loans. Like the ones that are given for digging boring wells or buying buffaloes "are all technically called long term loans and they don't qualify".
It is a fine print that many farmers across the state are discovering. Last week, a 65-year-old farmer killed himself in the outskirts of Kanpur after he discovered that the waiver wouldn't help him for similar reasons.
On Friday evening, the UP Government conceded that it needed to fast track the waiver plan and ordered district officers to start the process of distributing the loan waiver certificates to farmers. Also, the banks would soon be given the funds for the loan waiver, the government announced.
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