The government today said there is no proposal under consideration with regard to farm loan write-off. However, the Centre informed Parliament that there is a facility has been put in place for farmers to avail concessional debt. Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Maharasthra and Karnataka government have announced loan waiver this year. “There is no proposal at present under consideration of the government to write-off the debt of farmers,” the government today said in a written reply to both the houses.
To ensure availability of concessional debt, Union Minister of State for Agriculture Parshottam Rupala said the government is providing interest subvention to make short-term crop loans up to Rs 3 lakh for a period of one year available to farmers at the interest rate of 7 per cent per annum and in case of timely repayment, the same gets reduced to 4 per cent.
Replying to a separate query, the minister quoting the National Sample Survey Office (NSSO) report on ‘Indebtedness of farmers households” in 2003 said: “Of 80.35 million farmers households, 43.42 million (48.6 per cent) were reported to be indebted to either formal or informal or both sources of credit”.
Quoting another NSSO report of 2013, the minister also mentioned that the average monthly income per agricultural household from various sources is estimated to be Rs 6,426 against the average amount of outstanding loan of Rs 47,000 per agricultural household.
To improve economic condition of farmers, Minister of State for Agriculture & Farmers Welfare S S Ahluwalia said the government is implementing various schemes for increasing farm production and productivity and for doubling farmers’ income.
The MSP has been raised to ensure remunerative price to farmers and the government has also focused on aggregation of small and marginal farmers into groups for overcoming market imperfections and for releasing better prices for their produce, he said while replying separately to a similar query.