As part of an immediate relief package to drought-hit farmers and rural population, the government should take the load of their bank loan payments upon itself and provide food grains at subsidised rates, Assocham President Sunil Kanoria said here today.
The industry body estimates that Indian economy has taken a hit of Rs 6.50 lakh crore because of drought situation in 265 districts in 11 states affecting 33 crore people.
“No meaningful gain can be accrued from over 7 per cent GDP growth, if a large part of our population is pushed to live on the margins of distress and poverty. No one sector is isolated from the other. So, if one sector suffers, others must chip in,” Kanoria said in a statement.
He was here for a meeting with Governor of Telangana E S L Narasimhan on issues concerning microfinance sector.
Kanoria, however said the chamber is not making a demand outright on the banks to take the load of waiver or moratorium on agriculture loans since the lenders themselves are going through an unprecedented challenging times in terms of the non-performing assets.
The government should rather commit maximum resources to rural sector as the fiscal burden on it has been considerably reduced, thanks to low crude oil prices, he added.
“We are not suggesting populist measures like loan waiver as election freebie, but in case of natural distress like the drought, the affected people have to be helped,” he said.
The industry body president was also hopeful that the situation would surely improve with regular onset of the monsoon.