FPJ webinar series on Future of Agriculture: Soon, nod for in-principle farm loan in 59 minutes

Like the ‘PSB Loans in 59 Minutes’ for micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), soon, there will be a quick loan facilitating scheme for farmers too, said a top official of NABARD in a webinar series on the ‘Future of Agriculture’, which was organised by the SIES college and The Free Press Journal in association with NSE, the NCDEX and East West Seeds.

NABARD Deputy Managing Director KV Shaji said at the webinar, “There is a PSB 59 minutes portal for MSMEs. Similar to that, we are coming out with on-demand agriculture loans for farmers.” This scheme will come under the 'Self-Sufficient India' package which the government of India is introducing, to strengthen the agriculture sector.

"Just as in ‘PSB Loans in 59 Minutes’, farmers can choose their preferred bank and the banks will then have to give them a loan. This is because the government will turn up as a guarantor under the scheme. No bank can refuse the loan. We will be empowering the farmer with the scheme, ” Shaji said, in response to the observation of fellow panellist Arun Raste, Executive Director, NDDB, who raised the issue of accessibility and availability of funds to farmers.

Shaji further stated, the government has initiated subvention for long-term loans, just like short-term loans, “so that loans are available at a cheaper rate. In the next one or two years, the credit flow to the sector will improve as the availability and accessibility factors will be addressed.”

According to the Economic Survey for 2019-20, around 1.6 lakh of loans worth Rs 49,330 crore have been sanctioned to MSMEs under 'PSB Loans Within 59 Minutes', through the online portal. Moreover, these are in-principle approvals. Of this, Rs 37,106 crore had been disbursed up to October 2019. In the past, there were talks of extending this to other sectors as well.

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