Bhubaneswar: Just a day after Akshaya Tritiya, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Monday distributed crop loan interest subvention of Rs 441.76 crore to 2409 Primary Agriculture Cooperative Societies (PACS) through electronic platform.
The Chief Minister has distributed the second phase of the crop loan interest subvention for the year 2022-23 at a special programme organised here at the Convention Center of the Lok Seva Bhawan. About 35 lakh farmers including 30 lakh small and marginal farmers will be benefited from the move.
Addressing the farmers who are connected through video conferencing, the Chief Minister said that agriculture is the soul of Odisha’s economy as well as the basis of development. Chief Secretary Pradeep Jena, Development Commissioner Anu Garg graced the occasion.
“Our new Odisha, strong Odisha, is being driven by our farmers, mothers, and youths. So, I have always given emphasis on your empowerment,” he said.
Stating that a special budget has been made to empower the farmers, Patnaik said interest-free agricultural loans up to Rs 1 lakh are being given, while Kalia education scholarship is being provided for the welfare of the families engaged in farming.
The Chief Minister said that Odisha is the first State to provide interest-free loans to farmers and implement welfare schemes for the farmers like Kalia. He further said that due to today’s interest subvention, farmers will not have to pay a single rupee of interest.
Stating that the cooperative movement has become stronger today, the Chief Minister said, “60 percent of the crop loan is being provided by the cooperative sector alone.”
Stating that the farmers are our pride, he said, “Due to their hard work and determination, Odisha has become a leading State in the country in the field of agriculture. I am working and will continue to work for the welfare of farmers.”
Addressing the programme, Cooperation Minister Atanu Sabyasachi said that the State Government under the leadership of the Chief Minister is working with commitment for the uplift of the farmers in the State.
Principal Secretary Co-operation, Sanjeev Chadha has delivered the welcome address while Cooperative Registrar Udhab Charan Majhi has offered vote of thanks.
The State Government has been providing crop loan to farmers with zero interest or minimal interest rate since 2006-07. In the year 2019-20, the State Government had taken a historic decision to provide crop loan upto Rs 50,000 to small and marginal farmers without any interest.
For the interest of the small and marginal farmers, the State Government again restricted the crop credit system and has been providing interest free crop loan upto Rs 1 lakh to the farmers from 2022-23.
Similarly, the Government has been providing 2 percent interest subvention on crop loan from 1 lakh to Rs 3 lakh. For this interest subvention, the State Government has provided Rs 415.17 crore in first phase and Rs 441.76 in second phase to the PACS.
To further strengthen the crop loan distribution system, the State Government has registered more than 1300 PACS and initiated a process to open Cooperative Bank branches in over 2,000 Gram Panchayats across Odisha. To expedite the crop loan disbursal process, the cooperative banks are being inter-linked through core banking solutions.
Besides, the Government has been providing around Rs 150 crore each year for the development of Cooperative Banks and PACS.