BHUBANESHWAR: The state government has decided to provide loans to landless farmers through the joint liability group at one per cent interest rate.
Announcing this here today at a media conference, cooperation minister Surya Narayan Patro said each joint liability group will comprise of five farmers. The group will be provided a loan of `50,000, he said and added that small farmers having their own land will given loan in proportion to the area of the land.
“Each cooperative society will have to provide loan to at least 10 groups,” he said.
Loan to the landless farmers will be provided during the Kharif season this year, Patro said and added that the chief minister has directed the cooperation department to disburse Rs 7200 crore loans to farmers out of which Rs 200 crore has been earmarked for the landless farmers through the joint liability groups. Besides, Rs1000 crore will be provided as term loan in the agriculture sector, he said.
Chief minister Naveen Patnaik today reviewed the performance of cooperation department which has disbursed crop loan of Rs19099.06 crore at one per cent interest rate to 6940466 farmers and Rs 20034.88
crore at two percent interest rate to 12451458 farmers during the last four years.
Agriculture loan upto Rs 50,000 has one per cent rate while loan above Rs 50,000 attracts two per cent interest rate. Besides, the state government has also provided interest subsidy of Rs1466.79 crore during the same period.
The minister said that drafting of a comprehensive warehousing act is currently going on and will be completed soon.
However, the BJP and Congress have criticised the state government's decision to provide loan to farmers through the joint liability group. BJP spokesperson Sajjan Sharma said that the state government has copied the scheme announced by the Centre in the 2014-15 annual and is implemented by Andhra Pradesh and Telengana.
Describing the announcement as part of vote bank politics, Sharma said this has exposed the anti-farmer attitude of the state government.