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Assam loan waiver scheme to benefit 19 lakh farmers

GUWAHATI: Ahead of Lok Sabha polls, BJP led government in Assam comes up with a loan waiver scheme for farmers. The scheme is expected to benefit around 19 lakh farmers. The government is going to incur Rs 600 Crore expenditure in the implementation of the scheme.

Assam cabinet on Monday approved 25 percent loan amount waiver for farmers. The waiver is up to maximum of Rs 25,000. Cabinet also decided to introduce interest relief scheme to farmers’ upto 4 percent. The cabinet has decided to provide Rs 10,000 as subsidy for farmers for taking loan under Kisan Credit Cards (KCC).

Assam minister for industry and government spokesperson, Chandra Mohan Patwary told ET, “The government will spent close to Rs 600 Crores in the scheme and it will benefit over 19 lakh farmers by next year.”

He added, “The government will write off 25 percent debts upto the maximum of Rs 25,000. Even those farmers who are not able to pay small amounts and fall under non-preforming assets (NPA) we will pay out for them.

He added, “ We have announced interest relief scheme of up to four per cent for farmers. This will enable farmers to get loan at zero percent interest. The government also sanctioned Rs 32.72 crore loans from National Cooperative Development Corporation for revival of a jute mill at Nagaon. The loan waiver scheme will benefit farmers engaged in cultivation of paddy and horticulture products.”

Assam finance minister Himanta Biswa Sarma in the state budget 2018-19 has announced, “I would like to take one big step forward in this direction and would like to announce a scheme which will benefit the farmers who have availed bank loans. The Government will calculate the farmers’ dues – both principal and interest – to the banks. After calculation, the State Government will deposit 25 percent of such outstanding dues subject to a maximum limit of 25,000 in each such loan account. I know that this is going to cost the exchequer a huge sum but keeping in mind the larger interest of the farmers of the State, we have decided to announce this one- time measure. This move will unclog the much needed credit supply to the farmers. I have allocated a sum of Rs. 500 crore for this scheme, the details of which will be worked out in due course of time.”

Already states including Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh and Punjab have announced loan waiver.