In a big booster shot for farmers in India, the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led central government has made certain changes in policy related to farm loans. In a Cabinet meeting on Wednesday headed by Prime Minister Modi, the Interest Subvention Scheme for 2017-18 was approved, reported news agency PTI. The two states of the country – Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra – were reeling under massive farmers’ protest since past many weeks, where demands for farm loan waivers was raised and the agitation had even turned violent. CM Yogi Adityanath government in Uttar Pradesh has already cleared a farm loan waiver. Take a quick look here at the important decisions taken in the Cabinet meeting today:
1. The Interest Subvention Scheme for 2017-18 has been approved in the Cabinet meeting, headed by PM Modi, today. Under the scheme, a subvention of 2 per cent per annum is provided for short-term crop loan of up to Rs 3,00,000 per farmer, provided the lending institutions make available short-term credit at the ground level at 7 per cent per annum to farmers.
2. “The Cabinet has approved the total expenditure of Rs 20,339 crore in the current financial year as interest subsidy on short-term crop loans,” a senior government official said.
3. The short-term crop loan of up to Rs 3 lakh will continue to be made available to the prompt payee farmers at 4 per cent interest rate only, the official said.
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4. An additional interest subvention of 3 per cent per annum is available to the “prompt payee farmers”.
5. For 2017-18, the target of agriculture credit has been raised to Rs 10 lakh crore, from Rs 9 lakh crore in 2016-17.
The Union Cabinet also approved a memorandum of understanding (MoU) between India and Palestine on cooperation in the field of agriculture, the signing of MoU between India and Bangladesh for cooperation in the field of IT and Electronics and the signing of MoU between India and Armenia on cooperation on youth affairs.