The wife thinks?you?are a fool
An official at the Datia, Madhya Pradesh branch of a bank recounts a complaint he heard from a farmer about the loan waiver. His wife, the farmer said, had started calling him a fool after the waiver was announced.
The banker pointed out that the man had been servicing his loan regularly unlike others in his village and hence, wouldn’t benefit from the waiver. Almost everyone else would have their existing loans written off and be eligible for new ones.
People in Datia are convinced there will be more wilful defaults in the future as everybody believes waivers will precede every election in the country.
Other than politicians, bankers may now have to deal with a moral hazard from an unlikely source: the derisive spouse.
- Sanjiv Shankaran
Time is really running out
A banker at Robertsganj in Uttar Pradesh claims no one understands the pressures he and his colleagues are under. He says the first time he worked on a large loan waiver package was way back in 1990, when V.P. Singh’s government announced one such.
This time, he adds, the most significant constraint is time. More staffers have been brought in to this town from the bank’s other branches and extra computers pressed into service. “...we have to complete the wish of the government,” he says.
- Maitreyee Handique
Is my name on the list?
As an agricultural assistant at a regional branch of the State Bank of India, Sri Narayan Singh often fields customer queries on how to fill up a kisaan credit form and how to repay a loan and so on. These days, however, he faces a different, and a more persistent, query: Is my name on it? As the deadline approaches, farmers are crowding at local banks to figure out whether they are falling in or out of the list of beneficiaries.
But officials say everyone has to wait till the word is out on 30 June.
- Maitreyee Handique
No smoking please, we’re bankers
When the branch manager of a rural bank in the Bayana tehsil (administrative division) in Bharatpur district of Rajasthan organized a meeting of the kisaan club, a local group, to bring bankers and farmers together to discuss issues related to agriculture, most people showed little respect for the bankers.
“I had called senior officials from banks and it was a serious meeting, but these people sat with their legs up, talked loudly amongst themselves and smoked bidis all through the meeting,” says the branch manager.
When he reasoned with them, he adds, the leader of the group apologized to the bankers.
“Then he said that he would take guarantee on behalf of the group that nobody will smoke in front of bankers since they are absolutely indispensable for the farmer community. Since then their attitudes have changed considerably.”
- Sangeeta Singh