Farmers charged admin fees to receive loans

Jun 13, 2008 (DVB), Farmers in Tharawaddy township, Bago division, have been charged up to 3000 kyat in administrative fees in order to receive their state agricultural loans, local residents said.

A Tharawaddy resident said farmers in the 69 village groups in the township had each been forced to pay between 1500 and 3000 kyat towards their village group's costs.

"In order to get the agricultural loan, each village group has to pay 20,000 kyat to the agricultural administration manager, 3000 kyat to the deputy manager, 2000 kyat each to the two administration secretaries, 8000 kyat to the agricultural administration’s approval letter and another 8000 kyat for the landmark department’s approval letter," the resident said.

"Each farmer has to give an additional 500 kyat for an application form and 100 kyat more as a form filling fee. And then the village group has to pay another 15,000 kyat as an account checking fee."

The local said more than 30 farmers in the township’s Sein Na-khwa village who did not receive their loan have complained to the township and district authorities.

The farmers speculated that the money they were supposed to have received had instead been taken by the village authorities.

"The village groups were asked to donate 350,000 kyat for each village to buy buffalo towards farming redevelopment in the Irrawaddy delta," the Tharawaddy resident said.

"But the authorities refused to accept live buffalo, they would only accept cash."

The developments in Tharawaddy follow two reports over the past month of farmers in neighbouring Zee Gone township being forced to give a percentage of their agricultural loans and goods to local authorities.

Reporting by Aye Nai

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