Karnataka: Officials instructed to look into claims

Officials from the department of cooperation were given a circular directing them to look at allegations that district cooperative central banks are secretly collecting fees from farmers to renew crop loans . The alleged fraud entails Rs 1,294 crore, according to the cooperative bank .

BENGALURU: Officials from the department of cooperation were given a circular directing them to look at allegations that district cooperative central banks (DCCB) are secretly collecting fees from farmers to renew crop loans.During a phone call with law and parliamentary affairs minister JC Madhuswamy, a social worker made the allegations.The conversation was well-documented on social media.We investigated the allegations made during a rumored phone call with Madhuswamy, but we did not encounter such a situation, said St. Somashekar, minister for cooperation, on Wednesday.

Despite this, we have issued a circular urging authorities to look into the allegations and take steps if necessary.On a more positive note, Somashekar said that the department has set a target of 21 DCCBs to disburse farm loans of Rs 24,000 crore for the current fiscal year.Farm loans would help 33 lakh farmers, including three lakh new loan account holders, according to him.According to Somashekar, the alleged fraud entails Rs 1,294 crore, according to the cooperative bank.