In a bonanza to farmers post demonetisation, Prime Minister Narendra Modi Saturday announced that government will bear interest for 60 days on crop loans taken by farmers from district cooperative banks and primary societies for sowing operations this Rabi season.
In his national address on the eve of new year, Modi also announced that the 3 crore ‘Kisan Credit Cards’ would be converted to RuPay Card within three months to help farmers purchase various inputs anywhere. Nabard will be given an additional Rs 20,000 crore to finance district cooperative banks and societies.
“In the last few weeks, an impression was sought to be created that agriculture sector has been destroyed. Farmers themselves have given a fitting reply to those who were doing so. Rabi sowing is up by 6 per cent when compared to last year. Fertiliser offtake is up by 9 per cent during this period,” Modi said.
The government has taken care to ensure that farmers do not suffer for want of access of seeds, fertilisers and credits, he added.
“Now, we have taken some more decisions in the interest of farmers. Farmers who had taken loan for the Rabi crop from district cooperative central banks and primary societies will not have to pay interest on such loans for a period of 60 days,” the Prime Minister said.
Farmers who have paid interest during the last two months will get this amount back directly in their bank accounts, he said.
Arrangements are being made to provide farmers better access to loans from district cooperative banks and primary societies, Modi said.