Ahead of the monsoon season, the state government on Thursday has asked district cooperative banks to provide crop loans to farmers who are yet to the avail the benefits of the farm loan waiver scheme.
Officials said that around 60 per cent of the target under the state’s Mahatma Jyotiba Phule farm loan waiver scheme had been reached till March. Of the total 32 lakh beneficiaries, the loan waiver amount of Rs 12,000 crore has been transferred into the bank accounts of 19 lakh beneficiaries.
However, more than 11 lakh beneficiaries are yet to avail benefits worth Rs 8,100 crore due to shortage of funds, following the Covid-19 pandemic, said an official. “So, instructions have been given to the district cooperative banks to give crop loans to those farmers, who are yet to avail the benefits of the farm loan waiver scheme, without considering their arrears,” the official added.
The directions were issued at a review meeting held on Thursday by Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray to take stock of preparedness for the kharif season. The meeting was attended by Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar, Agriculture Minister Dada Bhuse, Revenue Minister Balasaheb Thorat and other senior ministers and officials.
Uddhav also said that the government is following up with the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), requesting it to issue instructions to banks to provide crop loans to these farmers. Ten days ago, he had raised the issue in video conference with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Officials said that while monsoon is set to arrive in Mumbai on June 11, it will reach the whole of Maharashtra by June 18.
In the meeting, Pawar said that the agriculture sector will be included in the list departments that will be given funds amid the Covid-19 crisis.
“The number of cotton procurement centres should be increased wherever required,” he added.