Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Nov 20:
Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik today sought Union government’s intervention and timely financial assistance for combating the drought situation prevalent in the state.
In a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik said: “As against the decision of the Union government to provide crop loans to the farming community at 7% rate of interest, my government has been providing interest subvention to the commercial and cooperative banks to bring down the rate of interest to 5%. In case of prompt payment, the, effective rate of interest has been 2% per annum after adjustment of the interest incentive made available by the Union government.”
In view of the prevalent drought situation, my government has decided to further reduce the rate of interest on crop loans from the existing 5% to 4% through interest subvention for small, marginal and medium farmers. This will ultimately reduce the effective rate of interest on crop loans from the existing 2% to 1% in the case of prompt paying farmers, he mentioned in the letter.
Notably, a large part of Odisha is experiencing severe drought due to erratic and scanty rainfall during the Khariff season which has damaged the standing crops.
Meanwhile, the state government identified crop loss to the tune of 33% to 66 % in over 4.69 lakh hectare of land and crop loss to the extent of 66% or more in over 63,020 hectare land.