Ahead of the monsoon season, the state government on Thursday asked district cooperative banks to provide loans to farmers who have yet to take advantage of the farm loan exemption program.
Officials said about 60 percent of the target for the state’s Mahatma Jyotiba Phule farm loan exemption program had been met until March. Out of the total of 32 lakh beneficiaries, the loan forgiveness amount of Rs 12,000 crore was transferred to the bank accounts of 19 lakh beneficiaries.
However, more than 11 lakh recipients have yet to receive benefits worth Rs 8,100 crore due to lack of funds, following the Covid-19 pandemic, said a responsible. “Thus, instructions were given to the cooperative banks in the district to provide crop loans to farmers, who have not yet enjoyed the benefits of the agricultural loan exemption program, regardless of their arrears.” , added the manager.
The instructions were issued during a review meeting held Thursday by Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray to take stock of preparation for the Kharif season. The meeting was attended by Chief Deputy Minister Ajit Pawar, Agriculture Minister Dada Bhuse, Revenue Minister Balasaheb Thorat and other ministers and senior officials.
Uddhav also said the government was following up with the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), asking them to instruct banks to provide crop loans to these farmers. Ten days ago, he raised the issue by videoconference with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Officials said that while the monsoon is expected to arrive in Mumbai on June 11, it will reach all of Maharashtra by June 18.
At the meeting, Pawar said the agricultural sector will be included in the list of departments that will receive funds amid the Covid-19 crisis.
“The number of cotton purchasing centers should be increased wherever necessary,” he added.