Assam Government Announces Rs 1000- Crore Schemes for Farmers

Assam government will be launching three schemes for the farmers, including a partial loan reimbursement programme and the other that will make crop loans effectively without any interest, aiming to give an impetus to the flow of agricultural credit. Finance Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said that altogether the schemes would cost Rs 1,000 crore to the state government.

Sarma clarified that launching of these agri schemes has nothing to do with the upcoming Lok Sabha elections or the recent loan waiver announcements in Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan adding that “We had mentioned about these three schemes in the state budget 2018-19.”

He further said “The northeast state has around 27 lakh agricultural households stretched in 26,000 villages covered by 1,800 rural as well as semi-urban branches of commercial banks and regional rural banks. Though, it is seen that in many cases the flow of much-needed short-term farm credit to the farmers is stopped up”.

The state government has approved the Assam Farmers’ Credit Subsidy Scheme (AFCSS), 2018, under which 25 percent of the loans taken or repaid by farmers this financial year will be reimbursed, with a limit of Rs 25,000. The scheme will also cover around 4 lakh farmers and involve a financial cost of Rs 500 crore.

The next is, Assam Farmers’ Interest Relief Scheme (AFIRS) that will provide support to farmers who are quick in repaying their loans, by offering a 4 percent interest financial support on short-term crop loans up to Rs 2 lakh. “The scheme will be aligned with Central Government scheme under which prompt-paying farmers will be given a benefit on interest subvention of 3 percent. This effective rate of interest for farmers in Assam accessing short-term crop loan of Rs 2 lakh limit will be zero.”

The Minister told that this scheme will be beneficial to 11 lakh farmers and cost the government exchequer Rs 200 crore.

The third scheme is the Assam Farmers’ Incentive Scheme (AFIS). Sarma said, “Of the 27 lakh agricultural households, merely 19 lakh farm families are covered by KCC or Kisan Credit Cards and many of them are inoperative which is spoiling the credit flow. Thus, to open credit line, the Assam government will pay a one-time cash incentive up to Rs 10,000 to reactivate KCC accounts. The scheme will involve a financial outgo Rs 300 crore and benefit 3 lakh farmers”.

*Source – Economic Times

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