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GOOD NEWS: Government Likely to Announce Rs 4,000 per acre DBT, Crop Loan at 0% Interest

Abha Toppo
Abha Toppo

The Government may soon announce Direct Benefit Transfers (DBT) worth Rs 4,000/acre per season and interest-free crop loans up to Rs 1 lakh for each farmer in immediate two-fold relief to them.

The initiatives will cost the government Rs 2 lakh crore towards DBT and Rs 28,000 to 30,000 crore towards interest grant, which is almost Rs 2.3 lakh crore on an annual basis. Moreover, Rs 70,000 fertiliser subsidy scheme will be included in the scheme to make it achievable. Few other smaller schemes can also get subsumed.

After losing lost 3 crucial state elections last month, the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party is in a hurry to mollify the angry farmers. BJP believes that the impact of the scheme must be felt by the intended recipients well before the 2019 polls.

For this, the government has called quickfire conventions at the PMO and at NITI Aayog to finalise on the declaration which is likely to take place this week. In addition, officials of nodal ministries agriculture, expenditure, revenues, chemical and fertilisers, food have been urged to meet informally to sort out any glitches.

Officials in the establishment told that there are orders to reach an out-of-box solution to farmers anguish.

Sources said that the DBT will be provided at the rate of Rs 4,000 /acre per season for the crop whereas zero interest loan at the rate of Rs 50,000 /hectare to be capped at Rs 1 lakh/farmer. Crop loan is already given to the farmers at a subsidised rate of 4 % only. Under the new plan, banks will not charge any interest up to Rs 1 lakh loan.

The government had fixed an agricultural loan disbursal target of Rs 10 lakh crore from 2017 to 2018 that could not be achieved. Of that, 70 % is disbursed for crop loans.

In the meantime, DBT will allow the Centre to directly transfer the subsidies to farmers rather than routing it via manufacturers and traders.

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