The Maharashtra government has decided to pay Rs 1,272 crore interest on the crop loan taken by farmers from drought-hit areas during 2015-16 Kharif season. The Cabinet also decided to restructure crop loans amounting to Rs 10,942 crore for last few years to make farmers eligible to avail fresh loan. The decision will bring relief to more than 16 lakh farmers in the state.
“The government will bear the burden of Rs 1,272 crore (interest and this decision will benefit 11.50 lakh farmers who will be eligible to avail fresh crop loan for the next sowing season,” Cooperation Minister Chandrakant Patil told reporters at Mantralaya here. Similarly, crop loan totaling Rs 5,000 crore for 2015 kharif season will be restructured.
The decision covers 15,747 villages, which recorded crop yield of less than 50 paise in 2015 Kharif season, besides 11,862 villages under Amravati and Nagpur divisions.
The minister said the government will pay full interest rate of 12 per cent for first year and will bear six per cent of total 12 per cent interest rate on behalf of farmers for four years starting from 2012.
The Cabinet also decided to give one more year extension for repayment of restructured loan of Rs 3,503 crore for 2014-15 and that government will bear the interest liability of Rs 36 crore for the same.
The Cabinet has decided to approach the Reserve Bank of India requesting it to allow restructuring of crop loan worth Rs 2,438.98 crore for years 2012-13 and 2013-14 concerning 4.42 lakh farmers.
“The permission of RBI is required as the crop loans date back to a longer duration of period. Replying to queries over credit extended by registered money lenders to farmers outside their licensed area of operation, Patil said that amendments to law are needed to regulate this practice.
“In the case of similar credits extended by unregistered money lenders to farmers in other areas, the government has settled the claims of farmers in Jalna and Aurangabad,” the minister said.