Rs 94,345 cr loan disbursed to farmers this year, says FM

New Delhi, Nov 28 | Updated: Nov 29 2006, 07:43am hrs
Agricultural loans to the tune of Rs 94,345 crore have been disbursed during the first six months of the current financial year, finance minister P Chidambaram told the Rajya Sabha on Tuesday.

Amid noisy protests by BJP and CPI-M members, Chidambaram said it would not be possible now to provide thefigures of the number of farmers covered under it this year. While the number of recepients of the agri loan for the kharif season would be available next month, the figures for farmers receiving such credit for the rabi season would be known in May or June, the minister said during Question Hour.

He said after the decision to provide the concessional 7% interest loan to farmers for a maximum amount of Rs 3lakh this year, government had provided concessional refinance through Nabard to cooperative banks and regionalrural banks at an interest rate of 2.5% and 4.5%, respectively.This is to enable them to lend to farmers at 7% interest.

Chidambaram said the Centre would provide a subvention (subsidy) of 2% to public sector banks, regional rural banks and cooperative banks on their lending out of their own resources.

On bringing in farmers under the institutional credit framework to prevent exploitation by money lenders, theminister said an additional 78.73 lakh farmers had been covered under the scheme during 2005-06 as against 78 lakh last year.

The minister said he had held two review meetings with the CMD of public sector banks with participationof RRBs to review the situation regarding concessional loans to farmers at 7% interest per annum.

He said the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs had cleared an allocation of Rs 330 crore on account of subvention provided to banks by the Centre.