Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Farmers' Loans Reserved for Model Villagers

Maungdaw (Narinjara): The Burmese military junta has allocated 600 lakh kyat for farmers in Maungdaw District for agricultural loans, but the district authorities are preparing to lend the money to model villagers in 27 model villages instead, said a senior clerk from the district office on the condition of anonymity.

He said, "The military authority allocated 600 lakh kyat to our district but the farmers in our township are unable to get the loans because the local authority is arranging to lend the money to model villagers."

The military junta has allocated 2,000 lakh kyat for agricultural loans for all of Arakan State this agricultural season. Of that amount, 600 lakh has been allocated to Maungdaw District.

There are four districts in Arakan State - Sittwe, Kyaukpru, Thandwe, and Maungdaw - and the remaining 1,400 lakh has been set aside for the remaining three districts in the state.

"The authority has collected the list of farms owned by model villagers in the township. Later the list will be transferred to the agricultural bank in Maungdaw to withdraw the loans to them," he said.

Agricultural loans have recently been provided by the government's central bank to farmers through the agricultural bank, but local authorities in Maungdaw are neglecting to distribute the loans to Arakanese farmers in the district.

"I think the authority does not want to make loans to Muslim farmers because they are not citizens in Burma, so the authority decided to loan to the model villagers," the clerk said.

According to a local farmer source, the authority is only making loans to model villagers from Burma proper, and is not making loans to either Muslim or ethnic Rakhine, Dynet, and Khami farmers.

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