Eight farmers from the first group to have lodged complaints over illegal cuts to their farming loans in Taunggup Township in Arakan State, were reportedly summoned and investigated by the township administrator.
The farmers are said to be from Kyaukmaungnhama Village in Taunggup Township and were interviewed by the Township Administrator U Tint Zaw at 11am on 7th of October in his office.
“The administrator asked us if there are any illegal cuts from our loans and how the loans have been cut, and if they were on the basis per acre of farm or in general. He also asked us if we are satisfied with those cuts or not. We told him that we are unhappy and want the money back because it was illegally taken from us and it is also very difficult for us to make such amounts of money”, said a female farmer who is one of the complainants.
The administrator is said to have asked the farmers to sign their statements given during the investigation and dismissed them from his office without giving any resolution.
According to the farmers, the Administrator of Kyaukmaungnhama Village, U Myint Shwe (a) Pu Maung, and Ko Tin Maung Htwe from the land department had illegally collected Kyat 10,000 from a farmer for a ticket issued for the farming loans.
Dissatisfied with the illegal collection of money the farmers had lodged complaints with the township administration during the second week of September.
U Chit Hla, a Chin ethnic and another farmer included in the investigation, also said the Village Aministrator U Myint Shwe and the land department official U Tin Maung Htwe have also cheated over 1 lakh kyat from him with their promises of issuing a registration for the orchard cultivated around his paddy fields.
“I have made an orchard around my paddy fields. U Myint Shwe and U Tin Maung Htwe have already taken money from me twice with promises for registering for my orchard—70,000 Kyat at first and 40,000 Kyat at the second time. Still I have not received the registration nor a receipt of the money paid. I have also told this to the township administrator and signed under statements given before him during the investigation”, said U Chit Hla.
The farmers from Moe and Maunn Village Groups in Taungup Township are also said to have complained about the illegal cuts of their farming loans to the township administration and they will be also summoned by the administrator soon.
The farmers said the township agricultural bank had recently issued the farming loans to the farmers with a rate of 50,000 Kyat per acre of farmland, but the officials who were assigned to disburse the loans had illegally collected the amounts of 7,000 to 10,000 Kyat from each farmer.
Many farmers in the area are said to have complained about the illegal cutting of their farming loans by the officials to the township administration, but the farmers are still facing difficulties as the administration has neglected to take meaningful action against those officials.