Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh): In the election year, the Shivraj government has approved a massive interest waiver of Rs 2,123 crore for farmers on Tuesday.
The waiver covers over 11 lakh farmers of Madhya Pradesh.
Under the proposed scheme, only farmers with arrears up to Rs 2 lakh, including principal and interest, will be eligible for the benefits. Farmers are required to submit their applications by November 30 and will undergo a verification process before receiving the interest waiver. The government will issue certificates to the approved applicants. Furthermore, the loan amount provided to farmers will be determined by the principal they deposit, and in the initial year, they will have access to fertilizers and seeds.
The interest waiver will enable these farmers to avail loans from cooperative societies without any interest, empowering them to procure fertilizers and seeds for their Kharif crops.
The primary objective behind this initiative is to alleviate the financial burden on farmers and reduce the cost of farming in the state. The government already provides interest-free loans through 4,500 primary agricultural credit co-operative societies, offering cash amounts along with fertilizers and seeds. However, under the previous Jai Kisan Crop Loan Waiver Scheme introduced by the Kamal Nath government before the 2018 assembly elections, many farmers were left disappointed as their loans up to two lakh rupees were not waived. Consequently, farmers refrained from loan repayment, leading to their disqualification from receiving fertilizers and seeds from the cooperative societies.
Certain categories of individuals, such as income tax payers, current or former MPs/MLAs, and various government officials, will be excluded from the scheme. Additionally, those receiving a pension of Rs 15,000 or more per month (excluding ex-servicemen) and individuals registered for GST on or before December 12 will not be eligible.
To facilitate interest-free loans, the government will provide interest subsidies to the District Cooperative Central Banks starting from June. The financial year 2023-24 will see an additional expenditure of Rs 115 crore for this purpose.
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