The state government has drawn up a plan to disburse Rs 22,000 crore as interest-free crop loans in 2023-24.
“Under this scheme, 3.5 million farmers are expected to benefit. The state government is expected to spend Rs 1,000 crore as interest subsidy. The loans will be disbursed through cooperative banks,” an official of the agriculture department said.
Cooperative Minister Udaylal Anjana said in 2022-23, as against the target of Rs 20,000 crore, Rs 19,740 crore was disbursed among 2.971 million farmers. This has been the highest disbursement of interest-free crop loans in a fiscal year, the minister added.
The minister said the present government had disbursed Rs 9,541.02 crore in 2019-20, Rs 15,325.38 crore in 2020-21 and Rs 18,101.68 crore in 2021-22.
It is to be mentioned that in 2022-23, in the kharif season, loans of Rs 180 crore were disbursed to 98,320 farmers and Rs 367 crore to 219,249 farmers in the rabi season. Interest-free loans of Rs 547 crore were disbursed to 317,569 farmers.
Meanwhile, the state government is extending the last date of repaying the short-term crop loan of kharif 2022 to June 30, 2023, or within 12 months of the date of taking a loan, whichever is earlier. This provides more time to farmers to repay their loans. Earlier the last date of repayment was March 31, 2023.
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Agriculture and its allied sectors contribute over 28 per cent to the state’s GSDP. Over 60 per cent of the working population depend on agriculture for their livelihood.