A group of three farmer’s association in Chuzergang gewog, Sarpang is waiting in vain to kick-start their venture as their loan, despite being approved about six months ago, is yet to be realized.
The farmer’s group, Tashi Phendey Detshen, Nyamrog Detshen and Thongjabi Chiwog Detshen had approached Bhutan Development Bank Limited (BDBL) for group loans, following which the bank approved it on 27 October, 2021.
According to the farmers, the director and the credit officer of Gelephu BDBL branch had then conducted a meeting with the representatives of the farmers’ groups and assured to disburse the loans by 30 December last year.
However, even after half a year of waiting, the farmers are yet to receive the funds which have resulted in stagnation of their proposed projects and ventures.
Earlier, the bank had informed them that each group will get Nu. 3,00,000 as capital loan. However, the farmers claim that the bank is yet to disburse the funds.
The chairperson of the Tashi Phendey Detshen, Pema Tshechu, said that the group had targeted to generate an annual income of Nu 50,00,000 had their loan been realized on time and as promised.
“We had plans to buy areca nut from our domestic growers by paying them little higher than the Indian traders and also to reduce import for the nut. However, this hasn’t happened and doma cultivators are selling it to Indian traders creating a scarcity for us,” he said.
Similarly, the chairperson of Thongjabi Detshen, a group formed to work on fencing, renovation of houses and other micro businesses in Thongjabi chiwog under Sershong gewog, Sacha Wangmo said their plans are yet to see the light of the day as they do not have the money to venture into their proposed plans.
She said that officials from the BDBL had informed that the loans will soon be disbursed. However, she added there were some inconveniences as the bank had to be closed due to frequent lockdowns while some officials were also infected with coronavirus.
“We ought to understand the problems faced by the bank during the pandemic. It was not that the bank did not want to help the farmers,” she said.
The deputy chairperson of Nyamrup Detshen, Nimala, said that the bank need time process loan and verify the documents and that some staff have been transferred which might have added to the delay.
Meanwhile, officials of BDBL, Gelephu said the loans got delayed due to the recent lockdowns and that most of their staff were infected. They said the bank will definitely release the funds at the earliest so that the groups can proceed with their ventures.